Aftershock rattles North Carolina town as governor visits

Published 7:03 am Wednesday, August 12, 2020

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A magnitude 2.9 aftershock on Tuesday rattled the North Carolina town where a 5.1 earthquake on Sunday shook items from grocery store shelves and caused damage to homes and businesses, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The USGS website showed the aftershock occurred around 4:45 p.m. Tuesday and was centered almost 2 miles (3 kilometers) southeast of Sparta. The latest aftershock occurred hours after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper toured the Alleghany County town to survey the damage.

“In a county this small, a number of people hurt are affected by debts they already owe and mortgages so we want to try to provide as much help as we possibly can,” Cooper said.

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The governor met with homeowners as well as with local and county officials, news outlets reported.

John Irwin, a member of the Alleghany County Board of Commissioners, said the earthquake has taken a financial toll.

“We’ve been hit hard economically,” Irwin told Cooper. “I’ve heard from bankers and people with mortgages . . . who don’t have earthquake insurance and they’re worried.”

Sunday’s earthquake was the most powerful earthquake to hit North Carolina in more than 100 years. A magnitude 5.5 quake occurred near Skyland in 1916, according to the National Weather Service.



5.1-magnitude quake hits North Carolina