• ITVI.USA
    13,795.070
    81.410
    0.6%
  • OTRI.USA
    26.560
    -0.120
    -0.4%
  • OTVI.USA
    13,740.380
    64.000
    0.5%
  • TLT.USA
    2.720
    -0.060
    -2.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.670
    0.130
    5.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.930
    0.280
    10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.320
    -0.020
    -1.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.040
    0.050
    1.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.740
    0.050
    3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.210
    0.000
    0%
  • WAIT.USA
    108.000
    5.000
    4.9%
  • ITVI.USA
    13,795.070
    81.410
    0.6%
  • OTRI.USA
    26.560
    -0.120
    -0.4%
  • OTVI.USA
    13,740.380
    64.000
    0.5%
  • TLT.USA
    2.720
    -0.060
    -2.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.670
    0.130
    5.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.930
    0.280
    10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.320
    -0.020
    -1.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.040
    0.050
    1.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.740
    0.050
    3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.210
    0.000
    0%
  • WAIT.USA
    108.000
    5.000
    4.9%
InsightsNewsWeather and Critical Events

Breaking News: 5.1-magnitude earthquake rattles North Carolina

Shaking felt hundreds of miles away

A 5.1-magnitude earthquake shook northern North Carolina on Sunday morning. It’s the strongest quake to shake the state since 1916, according to the North Carolina Geological Survey.

SONAR Critical Events: North Carolina earthquake, Sunday, August 9, 2020

Officials with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said the earthquake struck around 8 a.m., and the epicenter was about 2.5 miles southeast of Sparta, North Carolina. Sparta is just south of the Virginia border, about 60 miles northwest of Winston-Salem.

The quake was felt as far away as South Carolina and Georgia, according to social media posts. The USGS received reports from more than 300 miles away, in Atlanta.

“It felt like a big locomotive going by and a big wave coming underneath the bed,” Sparta Mayor Wes Brinegar told CNN Sunday. “A big wave coming to lift you.”

There are currently a few reports of minor damage in Sparta. No injuries have been reported.

“I’ve lived here my whole life and have never felt anything like that,” Brinegar said. 

The USGS says earthquakes can become destructive at a magnitude of 4.0 to 5.0, depending on variables such as the depth of the quake. The USGA considers a 5.3-magnitude as moderate. This earthquake rumbled at a depth of about 5.7 miles, which is considered a shallow quake. Quakes shallower than 43 miles tend to be more destructive than deeper ones.

Aftershocks are likely near the epicenter in the coming days.

“When there are more earthquakes, the chance of a large earthquake is greater, which means that the chance of damage is greater,” USGS scientists said. “According to our forecast, over the next week there is a 4% chance of one or more aftershocks that are larger than magnitude 5.1.”

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Nick Austin, Director of Weather Analytics and Senior Meteorologist

In his nearly 20 years of weather forecasting experience, Nick worked on air at WBBJ-TV and WRCB-TV, including time spent doing weather analysis and field reporting. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from Georgia Institute of Technology. Nick is also a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” for eight consecutive years. Nick earned his National Weather Association Broadcasting Seal in 2005.

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