It wasn't an alarm clock that awakened some residents of western North Carolina this morning.

A mild earthquake centered southeast of Asheville shook the region shortly after 6 a.m.

The earthquake's magnitude was 2.8. A National Weather Service meteorologist says the quake started on a fault 5.8 miles deep and six miles northeast of Lake Lure in Rutherford County, just west of Chimney Rock.

Earthquakes do occur in North Carolina and South Carolina, usually in the mountains. But Tomko says they're not frequent and he couldn't remember one in recent memory.