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Six aftershocks rock Alleghany County following Sunday's 5.1 magnitude earthquake near Sparta
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Six aftershocks rock Alleghany County following Sunday's 5.1 magnitude earthquake near Sparta

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Six aftershocks have occurred in Alleghany County following Sunday's 5.1 magnitude earthquake near Sparta, authorities said Monday.

The Center for Earthquake Research and Information at the University of Memphis recorded the aftershocks that occurred around Sparta, said Mitchell Withers, a research associate professor at the center. Those aftershocks had magnitudes ranging from 1.7 to 2.2, said Withers, who is also the center's director of seismic and computer networks.

The aftershocks didn't cause any additional damage or injuries in Alleghany County, Sheriff Bryan Maines said.

Sunday's quake happened at 8:07 a.m., about 2 1/2 miles southeast of Sparta, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It shook much of North Carolina, damaged Alleghany homes and buildings and startled residents.

The earthquake was widely felt throughout the central Appalachian Mountains and coastal areas from Washington, D.C. to Atlanta, according to the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology Education in Washington.

A few Alleghany residents suffered scratches from the quake, but there no significant injuries reported, Maines said.

A resident who lives atop a mountain near N.C. 18 told Maines that the quake felt like a freight train coming through their home.

Many county officials, including Maines, traveled throughout Alleghany County to survey the damage to homes, businesses and the roads, Maines said.

A damage estimate wasn't immediately available Monday, he said.

Sunday's quake occurred along an ancient fault in the North American plate, Withers said in an email.

The eastern United States have many ancient faults that are no longer active, and the Appalachian Mountains are a remnant of this ancient tectonic activity, Withers said.



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