Western North Carolina felt three earthquakes in 24 hours in June, and one Appalachian State University professor said a recently discovered fault line might have been behind it.

What You Need To Know

  •  Western N.C. residents felt three earthquakes in 24 hours last month

  •  Appalachian State University Professor Scott Marshall says it might have to do with a nearby fault line

  •  He says though it's impossible to know when the next earthquake might come, he reccomends against building on the fault line 

Each was relatively small, according to records, and near to the area of the 5.1 magnitude earthquake in Sparta, North Carolina, in 2020.

Appalachian State University Professor Scott Marshall says he’s been studying earthquakes for years. He says earthquakes in the eastern United States are more difficult to study than in the west.

“In the eastern U.S. everything is moving so slow that it is typically below the threshold of what we can detect,” Marshall said.

He added they are also not as frequent. The earthquake in 2020 caused major damage to homes and businesses. It caused cracks in roadways and since the area has experienced even more.

“No one can tell you with any certainty they aren’t the beginning of something new, but all we know is what the data shows is that they look like aftershocks from the large event in 2020,” Marshall said.

After the earthquake in 2020, scientists announced they found a new fault line in the area.

“The fault that made the Sparta earthquake likely has had many other earthquakes in geologically recent times and so that means that it’s only new to us. It hasn’t just popped out of nowhere,” Marshall said.

Marshall says while it is impossible to say when an earthquake will hit the area again, knowing about the fault line is beneficial because people could stop building directly on top of it.