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. Gimblecat

    With all the garbage, dumb politics and unwashed idiots everywhere else, I would rather be in Texas. My biggest fear is that those dumb fools from everywhere else will want to escape to Texas.

    May 17, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      hopefully the Texans in California will leave and go back to Texas

      May 17, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. CD

    I'd be curious to know if there has been any fracking in the area?

    May 17, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Evelyn

      From my understanding, yes there has been fracking in the area. I live in Longview, Texas, the earthquake was felt here as well. Truly disturbing in a week we have had two, I don't believe this is the last of the earthquakes for this area. How much fracking, don't know. Though you cannot tell me that fracking is not a contributing factor, look at Arkansas. I believe this is the beginning of paying for the sins of our past. You can't take something out of the earth, without the earth moving later to fill the gap you made.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris


      Timpson sits on the edge of the Haynesville Shale. This is one of the largest natural gas finds in recent history. There has been A Lot of fracking in this area for about 5 years or so now. I live in the area, and work in the Offshore Drilling industry. I understand that several people bring up concerns with fracking and I do not claim to be an expert on the subject, but I have a difficult time understanding how increasing shale pressure over 1 mile above the epicenter of the quake can make one happen. I'm not saying that it can or can't I just know how hard mother earth is when you get down that deep,and I wouldn't think that fracking could do this.

      May 19, 2012 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
  3. C NOTE

    There is fracking in that area but the depth the are fracking is about 5000' shallower than the reported quake depth.

    May 17, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • digitalclips

      Fracking below quake depth makes it possibly connected if you think about it. Take stuff out and stuff sometimes moves above that point as stresses and pressure change. Kind of a sink hole made by man.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • tpbco

      And your answer for the quakes in 1957 and 1964 are?

      May 17, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Evian Bidet

      you can cause an earthquake below a well when you "lighten the load" above the earthquakes focus... relieving pressure, etc.

      May 17, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jokesterer

    The Mayans are coming!

    May 17, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Hardly the end of the world Jokester...

      May 17, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • vatoloke

      Don't bother, they're heeere!

      May 17, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  5. randy

    "And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven."
    -Luke 21:11

    The 7.0 magnitude earthquake that has essentially destroyed the nation of Haiti has refocused attention on the prophecies about earthquakes in the last days that we find in the Scriptures. Yahshua (Jesus) told us that we would see an increase in earthquakes as we approached His coming and that this would be a clear sign that the end times was at hand. Could the unusual shaking that we are currently seeing around the world be an indication that we are approaching the time prophesied almost 2000 years ago?

    May 17, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • East of Eden

      I'd love this.

      May 17, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Evian Bidet

      or could it be that we've always have earthquakes (tsunamis) and we just live in a 24 hour news world now..

      May 17, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Sounds like my fortuine cookie from PF Changs last week ... myths, ghosts and goblins ...

      May 17, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • alcee


      May 17, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • JE

      Who knows...

      "Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." —2 Peter 3:3-9

      May 17, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • SV

      Man, I sure hope we're close to the end. I'm quite certain there is no god but if I'm wrong I think it would be enormously fun to watch him getting even with people justifying hate in his name. Texas would be as good a place to start as anywhere else. Come on, let's get on with the show!!!!

      May 17, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Anthony

      God is not coming back anytime soon, at least not in our lifetime. It will take decades for other major prophecies come to pass. Do yourself a favor and stop thinking like that.

      May 17, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  6. Bill

    How about the Tsunami in the Gulf

    May 17, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • jbird68

      Hope not. I'm in Tampa Bay!

      May 17, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  7. jbird68

    That drilling and a-fracking can get mighty rough, now, can't it?! Bahahaha!

    May 17, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  8. randy

    You see, unfortunately the Haiti earthquake is not an isolated incident. 2010 is already a banner year for major earthquakes.

    For example, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake shook the ocean floor between South America and Antarctica on Sunday.

    A magnitude 6.0 earthquake hit Guatemala's Pacific coast near the border with El Salvador on Monday, but fortunately it did not do much damage.

    There have already been five magnitude 6.0 or greater earthquakes in the area of the Solomon Islands in the Pacific Ocean so far in 2010.

    The annual average of worldwide earthquakes measuring 6.0 or greater is 152. If the current pace continues, we will see 260 in 2010
    The Last Days Written by Admin Posted January 19, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    May 17, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Evian Bidet

      better pray extra hard so you get into heaven.. I'm not sure alarmist get into heaven.

      May 17, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  9. lighttraveler

    Nibaru approaches... ...

    May 17, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  10. randy

    Number of Earthquakes Worldwide for 2000–2011
    Magnitude Ranging Between
    2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
    8 – 9.9 1 1 0 1 2 1 2 4 0 1 1 1
    7 – 7.9 14 15 13 14 14 10 9 14 12 16 21 19
    6 – 6.9 146 121 127 140 141 140 142 178 168 144 151 185
    5 – 5.9 1344 1224 1201 1203 1515 1693 1712 2074 1768 1896 1963 2272
    Total 1505 1361 1341 1358 1672 1844 1865 2270 1948 2057 2136 2477
    The Total for the year 2011 is 2477

    May 17, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • gary

      I am glad to see the number of Earthquakes is reducing. In the 40's there were 6 times as many.

      May 17, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Michae l J.

      It is 2012. Stay current, man!

      May 17, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Jack 63

      They need to fix it so you cant cut and paste to these boards.

      May 17, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Imagine No Religion

      And maybe, just maybe, technology has improved to the point where we are able to SCIENTIFICALLY detect earthquakes that were previously undetectable. When rational, logical, critical-thinking people apply such concepts as Ockham's Razor to the real world, there is no need for the concept of an imaginary sky-daddy. Give it a try, Pseudo-Prophet Randy. It will do you a world of good.

      May 17, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. NY4LIFE

    I thought everything was bigger in texas??? 4.3??? Weak! I bet they all shot at it

    May 17, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Jack Be Humble

      That wasn't an earthquake, that was an earthwiggle.

      May 17, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Grumpster

      Now that made my day.

      May 17, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. cw

    In related news: locals came out shooting first, then shooting again...

    May 17, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  13. glorydays

    We'll have all the oil in the world, but no world.....

    May 17, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  14. DarkDrew

    I just love the doom and gloom on this pitiful 4.(whatever). It wouldn't even got me outta bed. But its all about context. 4.0 earthquakes are common here in California as opposed to having them in Texas. Knock it off with the Doomsday Theories.

    May 17, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  15. C NOTE

    If fracing for oil is causing earthquakes why hasnt the middle east fell off the map...they produce way more than us and frack more than the US.

    May 17, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
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