SPARTA, N.C. — A magnitude 5.1 earthquake that struck Sunday morning along the Virginia-North Carolina border was felt throughout the Alleghany Highlands.
The quake struck around 8:07 a.m. and was centered approximately two miles south-southeast of Sparta, N.C.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake was preceded by at least four small foreshocks ranging from magnitude 2.1-2.6, beginning about 25 hours prior to the main shock.
The quake was reportedly felt as far away as Atlanta,?Ga., and Washington, D.C. Several residents of the Highlands also reported feeling the tremor.
Large earthquakes are relatively uncommon in the region directly surrounding the Sunday quake, according to the USGS.
The largest recent quake to impact the East Coast was a magnitude-5.8 tremor, centered in Louisa County, which struck on Aug. 23, 2011.
The Louisa County earthquake was felt widely along the East Coast and caused slight damage.