At 12:32 a.m. on Tuesday, March 26, Archdale was hit by a 2.2 magnitude earthquake that was heard and felt in Guilford County and the surrounding areas as it shook the earth with a loud rumbling sound that lasted for a few seconds.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) recorded the event – which is relatively rare in central North Carolina and which many may have mistaken for strong thunder given that it was raining in parts of the area at the time.
According to information from the USGS, the epicenter of the quake had a latitude/longitude of 35.9135°N / 79.8801°W.
Though the quake appears to have done little to no damage, social media lit up with comments from people asking if others had just felt and heard what they had felt.
Tim Poole, a Greensboro-resident who posted on Facebook wrote, “HUGE rumble, the whole house shook about 30 mins ago, then again just now!!! Earthquake?”
It’s not clear if there was an aftershock as some reported noticing.
Another Facebook user asked, “Is that why I’m suddenly awake?”
On Tuesday morning, reports from those feeling the quake were coming in on various sites from people in Asheboro, Gibsonville, Snow Camp, Arcadia, Jamestown and other places.
The Richter magnitude scale measures the strength of earthquakes on a scale of 0 to 9.5 or greater. According to Wikipedia, quakes that measure between 2.0 and 2.9 are classified as “minor” and are characterized as “Felt slightly by some people. No damage to buildings.”
Quakes that fall from 1.0 to 1.9 on the scale are classified as “micro earthquakes” that often go unfelt. Quakes that register from 3.0 to 3.9 rarely cause damage to buildings but they do often result in indoor objects shaking.
In August 2011, Greensboro experienced a very noticeable earthquake that lasted about 20 seconds. That was a 5.8-magnitude quake centered near Richmond and felt as far north as Rhode Island.