An earthquake hit near popular NC mountains outdoor destination Saturday, USGS says

A 2.5 magnitude earthquake registered near a popular tourist community in the North Carolina mountains on Saturday, government seismologists confirmed.

The quake struck just before 8:30 a.m. and was centered about 4.3 miles from Bryson City, the USGS reported.

Four people reported feeling a weak shaking, according to the USGS.

Bryson City borders Great Smoky Mountains National Park about 65 miles southwest of Asheville.

The community of about 1,700 people bills itself as “the outdoor adventure capital of the Great Smoky Mountains,” featuring Fontana Lake, hiking trails, train excursions, a “vibrant” downtown and white-watering on the Nantahala River, according to Explore Bryson City.com.

The earthquake had a depth of about 8 miles, the USGS reported.

No injuries or damage were reported.

Did you feel it?

While there’s no single magnitude above which damage occurs, damage typically results when the earthquake magnitude reaches somewhere above 4 or 5, according to the USGS.

The USGS asks anyone who felt the quake to report it on Earthquake.USGS.gov.

Typically, earthquakes below magnitude 2.0 can be felt if the quake is shallow enough and if people are very close to its epicenter, according to VolcanoDiscovery.com.

Recent NC quakes

At least seven earthquakes have now been reported since early September along the mountainous Tennessee-North Carolina state line. A 2.4 magnitude quake was the most powerful of the six before Saturday’s quake, McClatchy News previously reported.

And a 2.1 magnitude earthquake registered near Pineville on May 12, the USGS reported.

The quake was centered about 10 miles south of Charlotte and just over 6 miles northeast of Fort Mill, according to the USGS. No injuries or damage were reported.

Earthquakes continue to occur in the mountain border region because of “pre-existing fault zones that have weakened rock at depth,” McClatchy News reported, quoting the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Appalachian State University.

The Appalachian Mountains, however, are not on an active tectonic plate boundary, according to the department.