In Alleghany County, At Least 100 Homes Believed Damaged Following Historic Earthquake

Aug 10, 2020

North Carolinians across the state felt Sunday's quake, according to data submitted to the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program of the U.S. Geological Survey.
Credit Courtesy / U.S. Geological Survey

Local officials in the northwest corner of the state, where the epicenter of Sunday's earthquake was located, say the damage was serious, especially to homes. 

At a magnitude of 5.1, it was the strongest in the state for more than a century, and in Alleghany County, at least 100 homes are believed damaged — many with cracked foundations.

Daniel Roten, Alleghany County emergency management coordinator, is asking for help from residents to report damage.

"We’re just asking for folks to try to evaluate to structure theirselves, for their own safety. That way they can reach out to us to let us know if they have damage and or if they feel like they're unsafe and need some place to go," said Roten.

According to Roten, a handful of residents have been evacuated to hotels by the Red Cross. Others have moved in with friends or family. Aftershocks are expected to remain a threat for several days. The areas was hit by a weak one this morning.

Alleghany County, which includes the town of Sparta, declared a state of emergency Sunday afternoon. The earthquake was the largest one to hit the state since 1916, when a magnitude 5.5 quake occurred near Skyland, the National Weather Service said.

The quake was felt in nearby states including Virginia, South Carolina and Tennessee. Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly referenced "Allegheny County" instead of the correct "Alleghany County."