Charlotte County shaken, not stirred after earthquake

Published 5:14 pm Tuesday, August 11, 2020

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If you were shaken awaken Sunday morning from an otherwise peaceful slumber, you might have been one of 103,869 people who felt the earthquake that impacted Sparta, North Carolina.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) confirmed a 5.1 magnitude earthquake on Sunday, Aug. 9, with an epicenter in Sparta, North Carolina near the North Carolina-Virginia border, with reports of shakes coming from parts of Virginia and South Carolina following the 8:07 a.m. quake.

Charlotte County residents reported feeling shakes all over the county from Charlotte Court House, Drakes Branch, Phenix, Red House, Saxe, Randolph, Red Oak, Keysville and Wylliesburg.

Linda B. Baldwin of Keysville said she felt the earthquake.

“I was asleep,” she said. “I was awakened by my heavy iron bed moving from side to side and I thought I was dreaming.”

Also, in Keysville Patricia Stone said she was sitting in her sunroom when the storm door started rattling while Mar Mingo said her entire house shook.

Saxe resident Valarie Jones reported feeling the earthquake as well.

“I was sitting outside on my porch and the chair that I was sitting on start swaying back and forth.” Jones recalled.

According to the USGS by 2 p.m.  Sunday, the number of earthquake reports had climbed to more than 90,000 with those closest to the epicenter reporting strong to very strong shaking, while others further away reported weak to light shaking.

The USGS said large earthquakes are relatively uncommon in the region.

According to the USGS, moderately damaging earthquakes strike the inland Carolinas every few decades, and smaller earthquakes are felt about once each year or two.

The largest recent earthquake to impact the east coast was a 5.8 magnitude earthquake that struck in Mineral Aug. 23, 2011.