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2.3-Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Boone Area Saturday


By Jesse Wood

May 5, 2014. In the wee hours of Saturday morning, an earthquake with a magnitude of 2.3 shook the Boone area.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported the event at 1:57 a.m. and received 12 responses from residents of Banner Elk, Boone, Lenoir, Newland and Vilas. The epicenter of the quake was 12 km from Boone and 34 km from Newland.

While residents from only six zip codes notified the U.S. Geological Survey, Facebook exploded with comments of people who felt the rumblings in other areas like Sugar Grove and Valle Crucis. One person mistook the underground rumblings for thunder. Others slept right through the incident.

The magnitude of the Saturday’s earthquake was similar in scale to the 2.9 magnitude earthquake that occurred several months ago in August 2013. The epicenter of that earthquake was 2 miles northeast of Blowing Rock and three miles south of Boone. ASU’s Department of Geology analyzed the quake on its “Ask a Geologist” webpage.

In November 2012, a 4.3 magnitude earthquake rattled the High Country,  but the epicenter of that quake was in Eastern Kentucky, about 100 miles from Boone.