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. flfx

    wow...leave it to the idiots here on this forum to bring politics into a story about an earthquake. my goodness you people need help...serious help

    May 17, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. randy

    U.S. scientists are predicting that a Haiti-magnitude earthquake will strike along the New Madrid fault in the U.S. some time during the next 50 years.

    In 1811, an earthquake along the New Madrid fault was so powerful that it "shook windows and furniture in Washington, D.C., rang bells in Richmond, Virginia, sloshed well water and shook houses in Charleston, South Carolina, and knocked plaster off of houses in Columbia, South Carolina."

    At that time the area of the New Madrid fault was not heavily populated, so the damage was somewhat minimized. But if a true "killer quake" were to strike along the New Madrid fault now, it could devastate an area all the way from Chicago down to the mouth of the Mississippi River.

    But the New Madrid fault is not the only area of the U.S. that is a concern
    The Los Angeles Times recently reported on the "Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast" which was released in 2007. That report says that California has a 99.7% chance of a 6.7 magnitude earthquake within 30 years.

    A 99.7 percent chance? Written by Admin Posted January 19, 2010 at 7:47 pm The Last Days

    May 17, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. MarySUE

    We will make it to 2013 for sure! The mayan calender has nothing to do with us NOW! Its not the end! & if Jesus came back as a WOMAN, all u religious pep would deny her anyway! Welcoming 2013 !

    May 17, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keith

      If Jesus doesn't come back as something to eat 80% of the world wouldn't even notice.

      May 17, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. OlBaldy52

    Actually ther are several major faults in the area that run adjacent to the Carthage Gas field which is part of the Great Easxt Texas GAS Field. These run around 15,000 feet down (aprox. 3 miles). They move all the time but sometimes they move enought to cause a major compression slip and boom, a quake happens. It has been a long time since a major slip or movement has happened in the area so these are likely just the faults setteling themselves back to where they should be. There are likely to be a number of aftershocks that can varry widely in intensity but these faults, although major faults are NOT large faults that run hundreds of miles like the New Madrid Fault in the central US.

    May 17, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Robin Bray

    Has Perry blamed Mexicans yet?

    May 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. texas

    I live 15 miles from Timpson on Lake murvual! It was rather scary waking up at 3:12am to your house and bed shaking really bad and the loud noise coming from outside!!! At first I thought It was a tornado and once I realized what was going on I woke up my husband. We didn't have damage but after it was over it was eerily quiet on the lake.. not even a frog croaking. it was quite scary to be startled out of your sleep like that. I couldn't imagine being in something bigger!!!

    May 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • marycontrary

      I had a similar experience two years ago when a quake hit us outside of Chicago. It was 4am and I awoke to my bed and nightstand shaking hard. The table and lamp were banging against the wall. It was terrifying even though it was a fairly minor earthquake (3.8ish?). The epicenter was only about 3 miles from my home (and in the backyard of my workplace...literally). Exciting but scary.

      May 17, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ma6

    Of course fracking didn't cause the earthquake. Fracking only causes your water to become contaminated and catch fire. God forbid the energy companies would have to stop fracking.

    May 17, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. fracking caused this and most of the other new earthquakes we are hearing about

    That is right in the middle of fracking country

    May 17, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Larry L

    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.
    Wouldn't disturbing or lubricating a fault line increase the probability of that fault line moving? The ground is fractured or the process woiuldn't work. Fracking and injection wells look like a perfect way to induce a quake. I notice the quote "fracking almost never causes quakes". Almost never?

    May 17, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Will

      Were they fracking in 1957 and 1964?? I don't think so. Go back and crawl into your liberal hole....

      May 17, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • dreamer96

      Will T Boone Pickens said this morning on "Morning Joe"..that the first fracking well he saw was in 1958 in Texas..they called it an injection recovery well back then...but the same thing as fracking...

      May 17, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. miketofal

    Fracking "almost never" causes quakes, he said, shakily.

    May 17, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Frackin is Inectin

    Fracking almost never causes earthquakes. Check out Youngstown, Ohio recently. Is there some reason injecting dirty water as described above is different from injecting water and chemicals as in fracking? NEITHER one is good for the earth!

    May 17, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jim Hahn

    A 4.3? Really? In California, they don't even bother reporting such quakes because no one feels them anymore.

    May 17, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Larry L


    Drill my friend Drill. Get us that oil.

    Certainly you understand that oil will go into the world market and we'll be bidding against all emerging countries for oil captured in our domestic production? Do you think the kindly and patriotic oil companies hold it back for US consumption? These same subsidized companies, some making 20% profits in a year, sell (and buy) oil as a commodity. The new production from fracking efforts makes good money for the industry, but it has little impact on the cost of gasoline. Oil is one of our energy bridges to the future and we need that bridge. If we consider it the fuel of the future we're screwed economically, and our environment will undergo even more radical climate change than we're already seeing. We need to move towards a future of sustainable energy that doesn't destroy our climate.

    May 17, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keith

      So, let's Nationalize the oil companies/

      May 17, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Martha/GA

    My translator worked very well.
    It was meant for Perry 🙂

    May 17, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. turggut justus

    The Lord is coming,let us repent of gayism,lesbianis witchcraft,corruption etc read acts 17;30-32, mathew 24,mark13 and luke 22,it the start birthpains,justus turgut ,kenya

    May 17, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobs your uncle

      Oh, youve converted me! Praise Jeebus.

      May 17, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keith

      I think I will wait on someone more dependable than the Lord. He is already 2000 years late.

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

      How about repenting for your ignorance, intolerance and lack of compassion? Start there, then worry about everyone else.

      May 17, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      If this was caused by GOD because of Gays and Lesbiens, wouldn't GOD have picked a more liberal state ?

      Maybe GOD is tired of people like Rick Perry using his name to advance their careers

      May 17, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • TexanSwagger86

      Obvious troll is obvious

      May 17, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • TexanSwagger86

      successful troll is successful

      May 17, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJ

      And with all that one may very well be turned away from the gates of heaven due to living a life filled with bibotry, hatred and discrimination of other human beings.

      May 17, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • dreamer96

      turggut justus

      Where was God in WWI, WWII...

      May 17, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
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