Per the preliminary report from the US Geological Survey, the quake hit the town of Sparta, North Carolina around 8:07 a.m. E.T. The North Carolina Geological Survey says that this was the strongest earthquake to hit the state since a 5.2-magnitude struck Mitchell County 1926.
The earthquake's epicenter was near the Virginia border in Alleghany County and was felt as far as Georgia with the USGS receiving reports in Atlanta. There were no injuries reported in nearby Sparta or Charlotte which is just 100 miles south of the epicenter. But there was minor damage to buildings.
"It felt like a big locomotive going by and a big wave coming underneath the bed," Sparta Mayor Wes Brinegar said to CNN. "A big wave coming to lift you."
The earthquake rumbled at a depth of about 5.7 miles. This is considered a "shallow quake" and quakes shallower than 43 miles are usually the most destructive. Sparta is located near three seismic zones in Charleston, South Carolina, eastern Tennessee, and central Virginia. Five smaller quake—all 2.6-magnitude or lower—rumbled close to Sparta on Saturday and early Sunday. This comes after two quakes struck Seymour, Tennessee—which is about 190 miles from Sparta—last weekend.