ROCKINGHAM — There appears to be no known cause of a tremor — or several — that shook up residents of Richmond County overnight.
County Commissioner Jason Gainey on Monday posted to the group What’s Up Richmond County asking: “Was anyone awoken by what felt like a small earthquake last night?”
While Gainey says he slept through it, he says his wife, Dr. Tammie Gainey, said the rumble shook the bed and the windows were rattling for about 20 seconds sometime between 11 p.m. and midnight.
Several people commented on the post — some jokingly. However, the reported times varied from 10:30 p.m. to 3:30 or 5:30 a.m.
Others said they thought the rumble was distant thunder or the wind.
The U.S. Geologic Survey website shows small earthquakes recorded in Alaska, California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Oregon, Nevada, Utah and Puerto Rico in the past 24 hours — but none in the Carolinas.
Though unconfirmed, the website volcanodiscovery.com lists two recent reports of seismic activity from Hickory and Morganton, both of which are along Interstate 40 and about 22 miles apart.
So far this year, the USGS reports the following relatively nearby quakes:
- April 12 – 1.8 near Old Fort (McDowell County)
- March 27 – 1.4 near Winnsboro, South Carolina
- Feb. 28 – 1.3 near Elgin, South Carolina
- Feb. 17 – 1.4 near Jefferson, South Carolina
- Jan. 28 – 1.8 near West Jefferson (Ashe County)
- Jan. 10 – 1.2 near Mountain View (Catawba County)
Gainey wondered if the rattle could have been cause by military activity at nearby Camp Mackall.
The RO left a message for the public affairs officer of the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School but had not yet received a response as of this writing.
There have been multiple mystery “booms” reported in Richmond County in recent years, including in February of 2019.
Click here to read that story.
In August of 2020, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake was recorded in Sparta (Allegheny County), that was reportedly felt in Richmond County. It was followed by four aftershocks.
Tremors were also experienced along the North Carolina coastline from Wilmington to Cape Hatteras; as far south as Atlanta, Georgia; as far west as Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tennessee; and as far north as Baltimore, Maryland.