North Carolina experienced its biggest earthquake since 1916, while forecasters from the NOAA are giving a “vigorous tropical wave” a 60 percent chance of development in the Atlantic over the next 48 hours.
A magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck near Sparta, North Carolina on Sunday morning and was felt across eastern Tennessee and as far away as Florida, WBIR 10 News reported. Damage to buildings and roads occurred, as well as to belongings inside of houses, according to reports.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported that the temblor struck at 8:07 AM approximately two miles southeast of Sparta. The USGS tweeted: “This earthquake was preceded by at least four small foreshocks ranging from M 2.1-2.6, beginning about 25 hours prior to the mainshock.”
According to the National Weather Service (NWS) this was the strongest magnitude earthquake to strike the state of North Carolina since 1916. According to the USGS, the strongest earthquake the state has experienced was a 4.7 magnitude that occurred in 1976.
The NWS also reported that an earthquake of this magnitude has never been felt in East Tennessee. The strongest earthquake ever recorded in East Tennessee was a 4.7 earthquake in 1973, that had an epicenter in Alcoa, WBIR reported.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is giving what it is calling a “vigorous tropical wave” a 60 percent chance of developing into a tropical depression/cyclone over the next 48 hours, Local10 Miami reports.
As of 7 AM on Monday, the tropical wave and a broad area of low pressure were occurring roughly 600 miles southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands.
Forecasters say that the area of disturbance is “very poorly organized” at present and is moving west at 10 to 15 miles per hour across the tropical Atlantic. Nonetheless, the forecasters believe there is a strong chance that the disturbance will develop into a tropical depression within the next day or two.
Meteorologists say it is still too early to know whether this system will become a threat for the United States, as current models suggest as the end of the week approaches and the storm nears the Leeward Islands, conditions become less conducive for tropical development.
Nonetheless, they are urging people in coastal areas to review their hurricane plans as the peak of hurricane season approaches in late August-September, NOLA reports.
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