4.3 quake shakes up East Texas
May 17th, 2012
12:24 PM ET

4.3 quake shakes up East Texas

A 4.3-magnitude earthquake rattled eastern Texas early Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The quake, at a depth of three miles, was centered near Timpson, about 155 miles east-southeast of Dallas, according to the USGS.  It struck at 3:12 a.m. (4:13 a.m. ET).

At least one building in Timpson showed damage, with a number of bricks falling to the street below, CNN affiliate KLTV in Tyler, Texas, reported.

Ollie Barrett told KLTV that bricks from her chimney came crashing through her roof.

"There was a loud rumbling noise and then there was a lot of crashing," she said. Her 52-inch, wall-mounted TV was crushed.

One woman was injured when she fell out of bed and cut her arm, CNN affiliate KSLA in nearby Shreveport, Louisiana, reported.

And the Shelby County sheriff's office had reports of broken windows from the temblor, dispatcher Karen Shield told CNN.

The quake was the second to hit the area in a week.  A 3.9 quake shook Timpson May 10.

Thursday morning's earthquake was the third-strongest in East Texas history, KLTV reported, surpassed only by quakes in 1957 and 1964.

Cliff Frohlich, a University of Texas scientist, said it's possible the most recent quakes are related to energy production activity in the area.

"There are some injection wells in the part of the country where these earthquakes occurred," Frolich told CNN. "If they were very close to an injection well, that would suggest they were."

Injection wells are used in the disposal of dirty water from energy production, Frohlich said.

Frohlich said injection wells should not be confused with fracking, a process which involves injecting water, sand and some chemicals deep into the earth to crack shale rock, which frees oil and gas.

"Fracking almost never causes quakes," Frohlich said.

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Filed under: Earthquake • Natural Disasters • Texas
soundoff (323 Responses)
  1. Chicken Little

    An earthquake in Texas? It's the beginning of the end of the world.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • patrick

      I'm sure one possible cause could be all the gas drilling/fracking going on in texas. I don't recall any earthquakes in texas either, but fracking has been shown to cause them.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • hillman

      shut up we get it

      May 17, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Pure

      Since they started massive drilling here we have lots of earthquakes now. This is a common thing at this point.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • juniorbarnes

      Well then the end of the world began about a million years ago. Earthquakes in Texas and Oklahoma are incredibly common. There are almost as many days in the year where they have earthquakes as they do tornadoes.

      May 17, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. Willa45

    Maybe the oil in the ground was holding things up. Now that so much of it has been tapped out, who knows what can happen? Just saying...

    May 17, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. yup

    That should push up some more oil 🙂

    May 17, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  4. Yellexin

    There are a number of fault lines running through Texas, including one running through the middle of Houston. They've been there for a long time.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • john

      Yeah they call it the GW Bush fault line .... bwahahaha

      May 17, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • StarEIs

      Yes, this 100%. There's a relatively large (for the area) fault that runs from Mount Enterprise along Texas Highway 84 to Timpson (appropriately named the Mount Enterprise fault). There's a ton of seismograph instruments that measure that area frequently, just as I'm sure there are a number of tremors that are so small no one feels them along that fault as well. Nothing new, just slightly bigger than normal.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  5. MPK

    "Thursday morning's earthquake was the third-strongest in East Texas history, KLTV reported, surpassed only by quakes in 1957 and 1964" I don't think any fracking was going on in 57 and 64.. do you?

    May 17, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • cyg

      Hopefully Texas will fall in on itself leaving a vast crater, as a reminder to our country that this is what being a wasteful glut will get you in life...

      May 17, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Randy Flagg

    Is Stu Redman ok?

    May 17, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  7. sherry stanley

    Wake up call, GOD is trying to get peoples attention, just as the Bible says!

    May 17, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • chefdugan

      This "God" you mention, is he so weak that he uses a minor earthquake to "get our attention?". He did better than in that work of fiction called the bible.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Keith

      Which "God" would that be, and if he is so powerful why doesn't he just get on TV and tells us what he wants?

      May 17, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • cyg

      Texas Oilman will claim they drill and drive cars in the name of God. I don't recall Jesus needing a car to spread miracles though...

      May 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. slk

    There are reports that fraking is causeing this.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  9. marjee123

    Oh big oil driller did you have a day off and joined us peons. I think it was because Bush endorsed Romney ,,,Texas is sick of all that bull.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • C NOTE

      Google texas fault line map and you will see a small fault that runs 8 miles west of Timpson Tx...purely coincidental.
      Before long we will be blaming the big earthquakes of the past in California on Mr. Slate and Fred Flintstone for running that old quarry back in the day. Its simple geology fault lines=earthquakes.

      May 17, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Nico

      Fault lines plus pressure added to the system = eartquakes. Your math is off a tad bit

      May 17, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dustin

      Actually, it's proven that these earthquakes are caused by injection wells... that's why states are outlawing it based on scientific proof. Just because you don't WANT to believe doesn't mean it's not true. Pull your head out.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Name*jim

      Really? Where's the proof. Which scientific independently verified source did you use? Links?

      May 17, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      Wasn't the Frohlich family involved with the Lindberg kidnapping?

      May 17, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • 66Biker

      Bedrock City is in Northern Arizona. It's about 25 miles south of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

      May 20, 2012 at 3:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      While that may have its place, it's no matter at all Jesus stated ...earthquakes in divers places. Matthew chapter 24 and more have been happening in the last 100 years than in all of history combined. FACT!

      May 20, 2012 at 5:05 am | Report abuse |
  10. Kehinde bolaji

    Let's us just give thanks to the Lord that it was not a massive earthquake,and we should all pray for no more earthquakes.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  11. jude

    you poke mother earth..she's gonna poke you right back. we're all poked.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • cyg

      Truth an Oilman (or GOP) can't handle

      May 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. hahaha

    "One woman was injured when she fell out of bed and cut her arm, CNN affiliate KSLA in nearby Shreveport, Louisiana, reported."


    Seriously, why is this news?

    May 17, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  13. ELH

    Texicans have wanted to break away from the rest of the country for years.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Keith

      This may be our chance

      May 17, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. insight

    I saw Boone speaking this morning on Morning Joe... He is saying "fracking" does not harm anything. I'm not so sure about that could we be setting ourselves up for a major disaster or worse by "fracking"... by allowing this without hard core research done on exactly what it is doing to the earth scares me. One very large quake could set up spinning off axle!

    May 17, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Nico

      and injecting wastewater into the ground...mmmm, how's that water table tasting these days, texas? Are horses and cows still falling dead in fracking zones?

      May 17, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Pure

    Drill my friend Drill. Get us that oil.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • cyg

      Taking scalps, will trade for gold – or water –

      May 17, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
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