5.1 magnitude earthquake reported in Sparta, could be felt across parts of central North Carolina

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Monday, August 10, 2020
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5.1 magnitude earthquake reported in Sparta, NC

SPARTA, N.C. (WTVD) -- A 5.1 magnitude earthquake centered near Sparta, North Carolina could be felt across parts of the state Sunday morning.

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According to the USGS, a 5.1 earthquake happened just after 8 a.m. 3 km southeast of Sparta, North Carolina.

For reference, Sparta is 145 miles west-northwest of Raleigh.

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Sparta Mayor Wes Brinegar reacts to 5.1 earthquake that rattled North Carolina

Sparta resident, Gerson Cuevas' home was severely cracked by the earthquake.

"My wife was in the living room. I was with my youngest in the bedroom. When it hit I just grabbed her and started running," Cuevas said.

He says he just moved into his house three weeks ago and now there is a crack running straight up the side of his home.

In response, Sparta Mayor Wes Brinegar has issued a state of emergency to get state and federal support for structural damages. Emergency managers and personnel are assessing damage in Alleghany County. For reference, 11,00 people live in Allegheny County, 1,700 live in Sparta.

ABC11 callers from around the Triangle began reporting their homes shaking just after 8:05 a.m.


The National Weather Service for Greenville-Spartanburg, SC reported that, according to the USGS database, Sunday's earthquake is the second strongest on record in North Carolina since 1900.

The strongest was a 5.2-magnitude near Skyland in February 1916.

WATCH: ABC11's Tisha Powell reacts to feeling the North Carolina 5.1 earthquake in Orange County


There have been no reports of damage or injuries.

ABC11's Steve Stewart says aftershocks could be felt later today or in the coming days.

WATCH: California native Gloria Rodriguez walks us through what earthquakes typically feel like