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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Two very small earthquakes were reported in western North Carolina this week.

Late Tuesday at 10:15 p.m. a 2.1 magnitude quake struck Hendersonville, and then another 2.3 magnitude quake struck almost the exact same place at 7:25 a.m. Wednesday.

While these were very small quakes and really pretty normal for the Carolinas, the fact that two occurred so close together is a bit odd.

Quakes in this area are not all that rare. Anywhere you have mountain ranges you are likely to have some quakes.

The same processes that build mountains can make the ground shake even with the absence of major fault lines.

The U.S. Geological Survey has an earthquake hazard map that shows where quakes are most likely in the Carolinas (see photos at right).

The largest quake ever recorded in North Carolina was a 5.2 near Asheville in 1916. In South Carolina, Charleston saw a 7.3 quake in 1886, which caused damage even here in Charlotte.

While large quakes are rare, and even the small ones happen infrequently, the Carolinas still are much more active than most people think.

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