A M 5.1 earthquake rattled parts of the eastern US today. The quake struck outside of Sparta, North Carolina. Moderate magnitude quakes are not rare in this part of the country. Several have occurred in the recent past.
Today’s M5.1 quake occurred in an area of diffuse seismicity. Smaller foreshocks preceded today’s mainshock, which occurred along a thrust fault, according to the USGS.