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Quake strikes Erwin

A graphic posted on the website of the U.S. Geological Survey shows information about the Erwin quake, which was centered around Banner Hill.

By Bryan Stevens

Did you get rocked awake early Friday morning?

If so, you’re not alone. 

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, an earthquake, registering 2.8 magnitude on the Richter scale, occurred in the Banner Hill area of Unicoi County about 3:30 a.m. 

Some local residents felt the earth shake.

“We didn’t know what had happened this morning around 3:30,” Amy Wallin Tipton posted on her Facebook page. “It sounded like an explosion and then the house shook.”

Tipton, who lives in Erwin, wrote that she and her husband, Paul, both jumped straight up and started looking for the cause of the commotion.

Tipton also noted that their dog, Sarge, was barking and growling. 

“It scared him, too,” she added.

The couple came up with theories that a large tree had fallen or that something had exploded. 

Around 7:30, Tipton learned that two minor earthquakes had been detected in the region.

The local quake was reportedly centered southwest of Banner Hill. Another quake hit overnight in southwest Virginia near Richlands, Virginia.