Shortly before 11 p.m. on Tuesday night, Macon County residents were slightly rattled when an earthquake struck a few miles northeast of Franklin near the Jackson County border. Several residents thought the short “boom” was thunder.
According to David Key, Macon County’s Emergency Services Director, several residents reported hearing a large “boom” and called trying to find out what caused it. Key reported that no damage has been reported as of press time.
Teresa Burns of Sylva said she thought someone had crashed into her garage. “I was about to get in the shower and heard a loud boom,” said Burns. “I was house-sitting for my daughter, so I was home alone. My daughter's German Shepherd, Emma, started to bark like crazy. At first I thought that someone had crashed into the garage. It wasn't until I got to work Wednesday morning when my co-workers said they felt it in Bryson City that I realized it was an earthquake.”
The U.S. Geological Survey has confirmed that a small, 2.0 magnitude earthquake shook the northern part of Macon County and the Southern part of Jackson County, just southwest of Dillsboro at approximately 10:41 p.m.
Tuesday night’s incident marks the second earthquake in the same area in the last month, the first occurring on May 31 and measured a 1.7 magnitude.
Another small earthquake was reported near Franklin in the early morning hours of May 31. Its magnitude measured 1.7.
As of Wednesday morning, 89 people had reported feeling the earthquake. Forty Macon County residents notified the U.S. Geological Survey offices, and 23 residents in Jackson County reported it. Of the 80 reports gathered, people reported feeling the quake in 11 different zip codes throughout North Carolina in Fort Bragg, Banner Elk, Rockwell, and even one report from Fort Mill, S.C.