According to the United States Geological Society, an earthquake with its epicenter approximately eleven miles west of Cullowhee was recorded at a 2.5 on the Richter Scale at exactly 5:58 Thursday morning. . Dating all the way back to 1776, people living inland in North and South Carolina and in near by parts of Georgia and Tennessee, have felt small earthquakes and suffered damage from infrequent larger ones. The largest earthquake in the area (magnitude 5.1) occurred in 1916 near Waynesville, NC and was felt as far as Kentucky. Moderately damaging earthquakes strike the inland Carolinas every couple of decades, and smaller earthquakes are felt about once every few years.