Forsyth County most often gets microearthquakes, or earthquakes with a magnitude of 2.0 or less. They are not commonly felt by people and are generally recorded only on local seismographs. The US Geological Survey's popular earthquakes map typically features earthquakes that are magnitude 4.0 or higher.

Local Earthquake Maps

Earthquakes Centered in Forsyth County


On March 26, 2020, a 1.8-magnitude earthquake took place just north of downtown Kernersville. There were no reports of major damage.


On April 29, 2019, a 2.3-magnitude earthquake took place about 4 miles west of Kernersville. There were no reports of major damage.


Between October 17 and November 3, 2006, southern and western Winston-Salem endured a series of five small earthquakes and microearthquakes, ranging from a magnitude of 1.3 to 2.6. Although there were several reports of cracked foundations of residential structures and many citizens reported hearing audible bangs and feeling small tremors, no major damage was reported from the quakes.

What Is an Earthquake?

An earthquake is a sudden, rapid shaking of the earth caused by the breaking and shifting of rock beneath the earth’s surface. This breaking and shifting happens when the rocks can no longer handle the forces that have built along fractures or fault lines.

Faults identified to date in North Carolina are ancient and inactive. The faults beneath the surface that generate earthquakes have yet to be positively identified.