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Earthquake hits 100 miles north of Charlotte, along Virginia border

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits 100 miles north of Charlotte, along Virginia border

A 5.1 magnitude earthquake has reportedly hit 100 miles north of Charlotte, along Virginia border.

According to social media reports the earthquake, whose epicenter is in Alleghany County, has been felt as far away as South Carolina and Georgia. The USGS, in Atlanta, received reports from over 300 miles away.

This struck at around 8:07 a.m. ET.

“It sounded like a big locomotive going by and a huge wave coming under the roof,” said the quake awakened Sparta Mayor Wes Brinegar. “There tends to come a big wave to lift you.”

There are no immediate reports of casualties, but the town of about 1,800 people is experiencing some minor damage, he said.

“The floor was broken, and stuff was falling off shelves in buildings,” Brinegar said. “I’ve spent all my life here and didn’t feel anything like this.”

Depending on variables, the USGS says earthquakes are destructive to a magnitude of 4.0 to 5.0. A 5.3-magnitude is considered a moderate quake, says the USGS.

The agency issued a green alert, which means there is low probability of casualties and damage.

Town leader Cole Edwards was also surprised by the quake, he said. His home was not destroyed but it broke some dishes and knocked off the wall some pictures, he said.

“This morning we had a lot of nervous people,” the mayor said. “It was the most powerful that we ever had.”

Sparta lies about 100 miles north of Charlotte.

The field is centered in Charleston , South Carolina, East Tennessee and Central Virginia within three seismic areas. Four smaller quakes, all of them 2.6-magnitude or lower, rumbled Saturday and early Sunday around Sparta. Three more tremors hit a few miles away from Seymour, Tennessee, the USGS reports last weekend.

Chandler Thornton and Chuck Johnston, of Bioreports, contributed to this report.

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