5.1 earthquake reported near NC, several report feeling it in Virginia

Virginia News

NORTH CAROLINA (WSPA/WRIC) –  A 5.1 magnitude earthquake has been reported Sunday morning near Sparta, N.C., according to USGS. That’s near the Virginia border.

The earthquake was centered 54 miles northwest of Winston-Salem. It happened at 8:07 a.m., according to the official USGS report.

Many who felt the earthquake said it last 10-15 seconds.

Sunday’s 5.1 earthquake is the strongest earthquake to happen in North Carolina since 1916.

Travis Michels, 8News meteorologist, said the earthquake was about 9.2 kilometers below the surface of the earth.

Several WRIC viewers reported feeling the earthquake as far north as Farmville and WSPA viewers have reported feeling the earthquake in Upstate South Carolina.

Ken McFarlane experienced the earthquake in Fancy Gap, Va., which is only about 18 miles from Sparta, N.C. He said the earthquake caused a mountain by him to shake and sway.

“Been through quite a few of these in Alaska and this was as bad as any I experienced while in Alaska in the military,” McFarlane said.

Emily Langhorne, a resident in Farmville, Va., said she felt the earthquake while drinking her morning coffee. At first, Langhorne said she thought someone had just slammed the door but after the shaking continued she realized it was an earthquake and ran out of the house.

When Langhorne came back inside the house she found her daughter was still in bed. Her daughter had apparently thought she had just moved in the bed and shook it.

“She said ‘Oh my god, I slept through an earthquake,’ I said ‘Yes you did,'” Langhorne said.

She added there was no damage done to the house, it was just a big shake.

A viewer in Pfafftown, N.C. told WSPA, “Around 8 a.m. this morning, our bedroom shook. We thought a tree had fallen, but then heard it was an earthquake.”

Below is a video a viewer sent in of a road buckle due to a water main break on Rivers Edge Road in Sparta, N.C.

This is a developing story, stay with 8News for updates.


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