A rare M5.1 earthquake shook the border region of North Carolina and Virginia near Sparta, North Carolina, 8:07 A.M. EDT on August 9, 2020.
Strong shaking was felt in many parts of NC and Virginia. Minor to moderate shaking was felt in parts of West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and South Carolina.
More than 1,500 reports have already been filed on the USGS website, just 30 minutes after the quake.
While this region of the Appalachians does receive earthquakes, this tremor would tie for the strongest ever recorded there in 1916.
⚠️ BREAKING: USGS reports a 5.1 earthquake along the Virginia/North Carolina border. Strong shaking was likely felt; and while this region of the Appalachians does receive earthquakes, this quake would TIE for the strongest ever recorded there in 1916 (magnitude may be revised) pic.twitter.com/QKCUrwgZWh— Mike Augustyniak (@MikeAugustyniak) August 9, 2020
But let’s wait, USGS loves to downgrade magnitudes of earthquakes.
Meanwhile, the USGS has manually revised the depth of the quake to 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) now. This is the usual depth for tectonic quakes in the eastern US.
This plot shows 1 hour of data from the nearest available seismic station in the Global Seismographic Network.#WyandotteCave, #Indiana, USA (38.2289° N x 86.2939° W)#NorthCarolina #Earthquake #USA pic.twitter.com/1CEjGPdr32— Xy5Z89???? (@Xy5Z89) August 9, 2020
Due to the rather high magnitude of the shaking, strong intensities are still expected for the epicentral area, but no severe damage is likely. Residents reported feeling the quake between 3-30 seconds depending of their distance from the epicenter.
Residents around Sparta and other towns near the epicenter should prepare for aftershocks, which are usually more than a magnitude weaker than the mainshock. Aftershock sequences of M5.0 quakes can last many days and weeks, but they usually do not cause any additional damage.
A smaller M2.6, which was felt by local residents, preceded this quake earlier today and some weaker ones yesterday.
Did you feel the North Carolina earthquake today? If yes please describe your experience in the comments! Thanks!
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