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Small earthquake rattles North Carolina

A small earthquake shook buildings and rattled dishes in at least four western North Carolina counties overnight, the region’s seventh noticeable temblor in the past year.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A small earthquake shook buildings and rattled dishes in at least four western North Carolina counties overnight, the region’s seventh noticeable temblor in the past year.

There were no reports of damage from Thursday night’s 3.1-magnitude quake, centered 28 miles north of Franklin, but emergency dispatchers received a flood of calls from worried residents.

“Every line in here lit up,” said Jackson County dispatcher Belinda Clawson.

Over the past year, four of six other noticeable quakes within 60 miles of Thursday’s epicenter were larger, including a 3.7-magnitude temblor in August that shook houses as far south as Athens, Ga., according to the National Earthquake Information Center.

The Southeast has several faults that occasionally produce minor earthquakes.