News and Commentary

North Carolina Hit With Biggest Earthquake In A Century

"Really, really scary."
Gary S Chapman via Getty Images

A 5.1-magnitude earthquake struck North Carolina on Sunday morning in what seismologists are describing as the most powerful one to hit the state in more than a century.

Centered in Sparta, North Carolina, on the Virginia border, people felt the quake throughout the western portion of the state, as well as in Charlotte. No damage was reported, according to The Associated Press.

“This would be the biggest quake in NC since the 5.1 in 1916 near Asheville,” tweeted Brad Panovich, chief meteorologist for NBC Charlotte. In 1916, a 5.2-magnitude quake hit Skyland right outside of Asheville, according to the National Weather Service.

According to a research scientist in the Virginia Tech earthquake lab who spoke to The Charlotte Observer, “there is a history of seismic activity in this region, particularly around the Appalachian Mountains.” He pinpointed a 5.8-magnitude earthquake in Virginia in 2011 as recent example.

Residents of Sparta, North Carolina, a town of approximately 1,800 people about 100 miles north of Charlotte and about 135 miles northeast of Asheville, posted footage of the damage to their property on Twitter.

Portia White, a resident of Black Mountain near Asheville, was in bed when the tremors struck. “The bed springs were bouncing — like cats were jumping on and off the bed,” she told The Daily Wire. Her husband, a local pastor, was already at church when he “heard terrible creaks, and the balcony swayed.”

“You knew right away it was an earthquake. There was no question about it,” Charlotte resident Shari Carriker told The Charlotte Observer. “We have no damage, except the coffee in my husband’s coffee cup that sloshed out,” she said. “But it was scary. Really, really scary.”

According to The Charlotte Observer:

Bemis said the Piedmont region’s saturated soil composition may have made it easier for the earthquake’s energy to move and residents in Charlotte and beyond to feel the rumble.

USGS officials Sunday afternoon estimated there was a 45% chance for aftershock earthquakes of magnitude 3 or greater in the next week. The estimates for another quake magnitude 5 or greater are much lower, at 1%.

”We expect there to be aftershocks after an earthquake of this size,” Bemis said, echoing analysis from USGS scientists.

Buncombe County, North Carolina, and its major city, Asheville, made headlines recently when they voted in favor of reparations for its black citizens.

As The Daily Wire reported:

According to The Asheville Citizen-Times, the resolution, titled “Resolution Supporting Community Reparations For Black Asheville,” was passed 7-0 and does not offer direct payments, but will instead seek to rectify historical disparities among the city’s black community with investment-based solutions.

Establishing as its basis their unjust enslavement, segregation, and imprisonment, the resolution goes on to list alleged longstanding discrimination against Asheville’s black citizens, such as being denied housing because of “racist practices in the private realty market,” facing impoverishment because of “discriminatory wages paid in every sector of the local economy regardless of credentials and experience,” and failing in schools because of “discriminatory disciplinary practices” throughout western North Carolina.

Related: North Carolina City Votes To Offer ‘Community Reparations’ For Black Citizens

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  North Carolina Hit With Biggest Earthquake In A Century