By David Rogers. August 9, 2020. BLOWING ROCK, NC — A handful of High Country residents may be salivating over the prospect of suddenly having beachfront property, but most of Western North Carolina is a-twitter this morning after a series of earthquakes struck the region.
COVER IMAGE: Map extracted from U.S. Geological Survey website, https://earthquake.usgs.gov/
Measured at 5.1 on the Richter scale by the U.S. Geological Survey, the largest quake’s epicenter was approximately three miles south of Sparta, North Carolina, which is near the Virginia-North Carolina border in Allegheny County, at approximately 8:07 am EDT.
Wayne Wilson, a visitor to Blowing Rock from Jacksonville, FL, reported to Blowing Rock News that friends and family members had felt the earthquake, including in Charlotte and Spartanburg, reporting it all about the same time on various social media sites.
According to the USGS, this larger temblor follows three smaller quakes over the last few days with epicenters just south of Sparta and readings of about 2.1 on the Richter scale.
Perhaps adding to the consternation about the latest High Country quake is that is an outlier, meaning that it occurred a fair distance from a major fault line where most large earthquakes materialize.
The USGS reported that the Sparta earthquake’s epicenter was some 3.7 miles deep. It is the third strongest quake in recent days. A 5.5 earthquake was measured on the Alaskan peninusula, near King Cove, Alaska, on Saturday. A 5.2 earthquake followed the Sparta shaker at 8:42 am, with an epicenter in the middle of the Altantic Ocean between Brazil and Africa, along a major fault line called the central Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
According to our survey of regional emergency services’ websites and social media postings there have been no initial reports of physical damage to property or injury to people.