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Virginia mom thought earthquake was washing machine: 'Everything started to rumble'

'I felt the wall behind me shaking.'
familyearthquake.jpeg
Earthquake-North Carolina
Posted at 10:41 PM, Aug 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-09 23:17:50-04

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. -- Folks across Virginia and North Carolina felt the 5.1-magnitude earthquake that rattled homes and buildings Sunday morning.

The earthquake was recorded at 8:07 a.m. and was centered near the state line in Sparta, North Carolina, about 300 miles southwest of Richmond. It followed a much smaller quake several hours earlier.

Authorities said many buildings have structural damage, but Sparta's mayor said there were no immediate reports of injuries.

RELATED: Earthquake rattles Virginia, North Carolina

familyearthquake.jpeg

Paula and Liam Randolph, who live in Franklin County, Virginia, about 30 minutes south of Roanoke, were just starting their day when they felt the shaking.

"Everything started to rumble and I immediately thought maybe the washing machine was off balance,” Paula said. “I looked over at my son. My eyes were big and he was looking at me and I felt the wall behind me shaking.”

Nine-year-old Liam said he was startled by his first earthquake.

"It freaked me out a bit,” Liam said. “I was sitting eating breakfast and felt a rumble in my chair and was like, ‘What is that?’"

"Dad was still in bed, but he felt it too," Paula said.

The family said they are grateful no one was injured.

Sunday's temblor is the strongest earthquake to hit North Carolina in more than 100 years.

Earthquake-North Carolina
Various items litter the floor of the 4 Brothers Store in Sparta, N.C. after an earthquake shook much of North Carolina early Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020. (Michael Hull via AP)