Earthquake shakes western North Carolina — the sixth quake in a year for this county

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A small earthquake struck a county in western North Carolina on Sunday morning, Dec. 5, geologists said.

The 2.3-magnitude earthquake was reported right before 8 a.m. EST in Laurel Park in Henderson County, about 26 miles south of Asheville, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The earthquake was too small for most people to feel it. Only two people reported the tremor to the USGS.

Henderson County isn’t known for earthquakes, McClatchy News previously reported. However, there have been six earthquakes in the past year in the county, according to Earthquake Track.

The largest was a 2.5-magnitude earthquake in Marshall on Sept. 25, Earthquake Track reported.

Earthquakes in North Carolina are typically smaller in magnitude. The strongest earthquake in recorded state history was a 5.2-magnitude quake in 1916 near Skyland, McClatchy News reported.

Since then, a 5.1-magnitude quake hit south of Sparta near the Virginia border last August. It caused extensive damage and was felt 100 miles away in Charlotte.

Magnitude measures the energy released at the source of the earthquake, the U.S. Geological Survey says. It replaces the old Richter scale.

Quakes between 2.5 and 5.4 magnitude are often felt but rarely cause much damage, according to Michigan Tech.

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