Western North Carolina Earthquake



We had a slight earthquake around here in the last half hour. It sounds like Buncombe and Madison Counties felt it. The summary from USGS which I’ll include at the end seems to say it was 3.8 on the Richter Scale and centered near Hot Springs. We don’t get too many quakes in the Western NC area, but there is the Brevard fault that runs through the area.

Now I know there are some people that will roll there eyes at this being newsworthy. I’ve never felt an earthquake before. My wife and I were watching the news and the house shook for about a second. I thought a tree had fallen and hit or come close to the house. I went outside to look around and didn’t see anything. I thought it must have been a sonic boom or earthquake. My parents and several other neighbors were out looking to see what hit.

I remember many times hearing that we had an earthquake of 2 or 3 magnitude that a few people felt at 3:30 AM or 5 AM, but I always seem to have slept through them.

In about 10 minutes the local news confirmed it with Buncombe County Emergency Services officials. It looks like it was felt from Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee through South Carolina and even into Georgia. It looks like it was felt as far as 271 miles away (both Smyrna and Atlanta Georgia) as of this writing. Update — 12:07AM 8/25 The Citizen Times has an article on their website. A few other outlets are now reporting online as well. The last link to www.the-dispatch.com is the most detailed at this point. They talked to a responder in Madison County (Hot Springs is in Madison). No injuries to report, the only damage at this point they’ve had reported is a mobile home foundation damaged. Several are reporting that windows rattled (as did ours – I was just too busy feeling the floor shake… it happened pretty quick (1 second?)) The Wilmington Star has the same story which is apparently an AP feed.

Below is the summary from the USGS….

Magnitude 3.8 – NORTH CAROLINA
2005 August 25 03:09:41 UTC
Preliminary Earthquake Report
U.S. Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center
World Data Center for Seismology, Denver

A minor earthquake occurred at 03:09:41 (UTC) on Thursday, August 25, 2005. The magnitude 3.8 event has been located in NORTH CAROLINA. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)

Magnitude 3.8
Date-Time Thursday, August 25, 2005 at 03:09:41 (UTC)
= Coordinated Universal Time
Wednesday, August 24, 2005 at 11:09:41 PM
= local time at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 35.878°N, 82.797°W
Depth 5 km (3.1 miles) set by location program
Region NORTH CAROLINA
Distances 4 km (2 miles) ESE (122°) from Hot Springs, NC
14 km (9 miles) NW (308°) from Marshall, NC
23 km (14 miles) WNW (284°) from Mars Hill, NC
40 km (25 miles) NNW (327°) from Asheville, NC
104 km (64 miles) E (95°) from Knoxville, TN
564 km (350 miles) SSW (207°) from Pittsburgh, PA
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 7.8 km (4.8 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters Nst= 28, Nph= 28, Dmin=100.1 km, Rmss=1.42 sec, Gp= 79°,
M-type=”Nuttli” surface wave magnitude (MLg), Version=6
Source USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event ID usceaf
Felt Reports 0.0 ( ).

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