High Country residents feel earthquake

Emily Broyles, Reporter

Boone locals and App State students are no stranger to the ever-changing weather in the High Country. But now, residents of this temperate rainforest can say they have experienced tremors of a 5.1 magnitude earthquake.

The earthquake hit Sparta at 8:07 a.m. and was felt in Boone. This map shows the intensity levels experienced in surrounding towns according to reports filed to the United States Geological Survey. (Courtesy of the United States Geological Survey)

“Woke me up. Best day ever! I was thrilled to experience it,” Anton Hengst, a senior math major, said.

The earthquake hit roughly 2.5 miles southeast of Sparta, North Carolina at 8:07 a.m., according to the United States Geological Survey. The quake occurred in the interior of the North American Plate and was followed by four “foreshocks” that ranged from M 2.1-2.6. The small town along the Virginia border sits roughly 50.9 miles northeast of Boone, being around an hour drive away.

“Large earthquakes are relatively uncommon in the region directly surrounding the August 9th M5.1 earthquake. Moderately damaging earthquakes strike the inland Carolinas every few decades, and smaller earthquakes are felt about once each year or two,” the USGS wrote in its report on the earthquake. 

Boone resident and App State alum Cameron Moser said that while she was drowsy and didn’t know what she was feeling, she heard rumbling during the quake. 

“My first thought is that it was a large truck on the road in front of my house but the sound was so deep, I couldn’t even imagine what kind of vehicle it could’ve been,” Moser said. “That’s when I logged on to Facebook and saw tons of posts about it and I knew that’s what it had to have been (an earthquake).”

Senior computer science major Jordan Fry said the quake startled him since he lives alone.

“I was awake, but in bed. It felt like someone grabbed the side of my bed and started rocking it back and forth,” Fry said.

While this has been the largest North Carolina earthquake in over a century, some people living in Boone did not physically feel the earth tremor nearby.

“I slept right through it,” said Taylor Carroll, a senior elementary education major. “My roommate was like ‘Did you feel the earthquake?’and I said, ‘We had one here? Really?’’’