N.C. earthquake felt locally

SPARTA, N.C. — If you felt the earth moving under your feet Sunday morning, you aren’t alone.

The U.S. Geological Survey reports a 5.1 magnitude earthquake near Sparta, N.C., at 8:07 Sunday morning. The agency says the quake was felt by people living in at least nine states. Mountain Top News has heard from people who felt it in southwestern Virginia and Eastern Kentucky.

A magnitude 5 earthquake generates about the same amount of energy as the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.

Intensity map by USGS.

The USGS says the likelihood of aftershocks measuring magnitude 3 or higher in the same area is 57 percent over the next week. But that percentage falls to 5 percent for quakes over magnitude 5 and less than 1 percent for quakes over magnitude 6.

The University of Memphis Center for Earthquake Research and Information also reports a magnitude 2.2 earthquake struck the same region at 6:06 a.m. on Sunday, a magnitude 2.6 earthquake struck at 1:57 a.m., and a magnitude 2.1 struck at 6:12 a.m. on Saturday.