— The most powerful earthquake to hit North Carolina in more than 100 years shook the state this morning. The 5.1 magnitude quake rattled homes, businesses and residents at around 8 a.m. across the state.

According to the National Weather Service, this is the strongest earthquake to hit North Carolina since 1916. That quake was a 5.2 magnitude and hit Skyland in Buncombe County.

Sparta is located near the North Carolina-Virginia line in Alleghany County. It’s 54 miles from Winston-Salem and 27 miles from Mount Airy.

The damage is expected to be minor from this earthquake. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damages.

According to officials and social media posts, people are reporting feeling the effects of the earthquake in South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Tennessee.

The inside of 4 Brothers Store in Sparta was shaken, and items fell from the shelves after the earthquake.

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Before the 5.1 earthquake, a 2.6 magnitude earthquake was recorded in Sparta at around 2 a.m., according to the United States Geological Survey Agency.

The National Weather Service of Raleigh also tweeted there have been reports of three other earthquakes in Guilford, Randolph and Moore counties since 8 a.m.

History of earthquakes in our area

The largest and most recent earthquake that was felt in the Triangle was in 2011 reported in Virginia. That earthquake was a 5.8 magnitude — the biggest quake since Christopher Columbus’ time according to experts.

Parts of the Pentagon, White House and Capitol and the monuments on National Mall were evacuated in Washington, D.C. The quake also panicked the New York Stock Exchange, where the Dow Jones average briefly dropped before rallying to post its biggest gain in two weeks.

In 1916, the quake that rocked Buncombe County threw chimneys to the ground and cracked window panes. People rushed to the streets, according to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. That earthquake was felt in Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina and even parts of Kentucky and West Virginia.