Low-interest disaster loans are now available in several counties affected by an August earthquake.

The earthquake that struck on August 9th was centered in northwest North Carolina, a few miles southeast of Sparta.

According to the North Carolina Geological Survey, the 5.1 magnitude quake was the strongest in North Carolina since 1926.

Initial assessments reported over 500 structures were damaged by the quake.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is now offering low-interest loans to homeowners and small businesses in Alleghany, Ashe, Surry, and Wilkes Counties, as well as Grayson County in Virginia.  

The Winston-Salem Journal reports that those needing to apply for federal assistance can visit a disaster recovery center in Sparta or fill out an online application.

In addition, Governor Roy Cooper has signed a state disaster declaration that will provide funding for those who don't qualify for an SBA loan.

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