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History of Earthquakes in North Carolina

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8/24/2011 - History of Earthquakes in North Carolina

by Anne Blythe - News & Observer

Just to give some more information - and to show this isn't "the norm" for Western North Carolina!!!  Earthquakes rarely happen here, and when they do, we barely feel them.  So forget all that, and come see the leaves - coming soon to a mountain near you!


Most people think of California when they hear about earthquakes. But North Carolina has a history with quakes, too. Among them:

March 8, 1735 - The first North Carolina earthquake on record hit near Bath.

1811-1812 - The great earthquakes centered in the Mississippi Valley near New Madrid, Mo., were felt throughout North Carolina.

1874 - Western North Carolina residents, particularly those in McDowell County, could feel the earth move about 75 times between Feb. 10 and April 17.

Jan. 18, 1884 - An earthquake shook houses in Wilmington, rattling crockery off shelves.

Aug. 6, 1885 - Reports of houses rocking violently and dishes rattling near Blowing Rock.

Aug. 31, 1886 - A major earthquake near Charleston, S.C., caused about 60 deaths near the epicenter and widespread property damage. In North Carolina, there were reports of toppled chimneys, fallen plaster and cracked walls in Charlotte, Raleigh, Hillsborough, Elizabethtown, Henderson, Abbottsburg, Waynesville and Whiteville.

Jan. 1, 1913 - Chimneys in Kings Mountain fell from a shock in Union County, S.C. This earthquake was felt in Raleigh - about 180 miles away,

Feb. 21, 1916 - One of the largest earthquakes within North Carolina borders was centered near Asheville. Damage was limited to cracked plaster and falling crockery.

July 8, 1926 - A shock caused a broken water pipeline and cracked building foundations in southern Mitchell County.

Nov. 2, 1928 - A tremor in Asheville created mild panic in a theater and caused damage in upper stories of buildings.

March 5, 1958 - A shock occurred in the Wilmington area near the same place as the 1884 tremor.

Dec. 13, 1969 - A minor earthquake with a sonic boom-like noise awakened many in Jackson County in the western part of the state. Rumbling noises were reported in North Carolina and South Carolina.

June 4, 1998 - A 3.2 magnitude quake shook Davidson, about 20 miles north of Charlotte.

Dec. 9, 2003 - A magnitude 4.5 earthquake recorded about 30 miles west of Richmond, Va., caused ripple effects in Raleigh and other parts of the Triangle.

March 21, 2011 - A magnitude 2.9 earthquake shook portions of four counties southeast of Charlotte, nearly two weeks after the 9.0 quake that devastated Japan.

Read more: Earthquake History of North Carolina -

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