5.1 Magnitude Quake Near North Carolina-Virginia Border Felt in Atlanta

People from Washington, D.C. to Atlanta, Georgia, were rattled awake on Sunday (August 9) morning after a 5.1 magnitude earthquake struck in North Carolina. The epicenter of the quake was near Sparta, which is not far from the Virginia border.

While there are no reports of injuries, there is some damage reported in Alleghany County.

"Started getting some sheetrock damage. My chimney was starting to crack," Alleghany County Sheriff Bryan Maines told CNN. "Several houses with structure damage. We have folks out right now. There are houses that have shifted 1 or 2 inches off their foundation. There are folks who have had to leave their homes because it's not safe inside. It's a pretty big event."

Sparta Mayor Wes Brinegar said that the quake cracked the foundation of his home.

"It felt like a big locomotive going by and a big wave coming underneath the bed," he said. "I've lived here my whole life and have never felt anything like that."

The earthquake was one of the strongest in the state's history. A tremor in 1916 with a magnitude of 5.2 is the strongest one ever to hit the state.

Photo: U.S. Geological Survey