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. Larry L

    Rick Perry may organize a prayer rally to prevent future earthquakes. It didn't work on the drought, tornadoes, or wildfires, but maybe earthquakes will be the lucky climatic event! He'll also ask the oil companies to stop fracking and operating injection wells long enough for a quick prayer. He's quite tight with them and certainly they'd want to "help".

    May 17, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Debbie

    So you think maybe there's a connection between shooting fouled water at high pressure into the earth and earthquakes? Hmmm?? The proximity to a fault line ought to preclude the practice of Injection Wells for exactly this reason. It's physics, people! For every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction. Energy doesn't go away, if you force it in one direction (Injection Well) it will react in the other (earthquake!).

    May 17, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. UnFred

    Caused by "Fraking".

    May 17, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. puckles

    Sign of the times Wake up all.

    May 17, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarcasmo

      Lifeless planets have earthquakes. What causes them?

      May 17, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • JPJ3016

      Oh please, how many earthquakes do you think it took to seperate South America and Western Africa by a few thousand miles? This is nothing new and the article clearly states that it may have been caused by injecting waste product deep into the ground.

      May 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Furious Styles

    So what does Pat Robertson have to say about this one?

    May 17, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. domityc

    Another fracking quake? Of course we also had an eclipse, so it might be the first rumblings of the Zombie Apocalypse. I am sure that is the GOP take on it, along with ammunition manufacturers. Of course Gov. Perry is well loaded, and packing.

    May 17, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Richelle

    How does a Texas earthquake become political?

    May 17, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Matt

    24 Departing now, Jesus was on his way from the temple, but his disciples approached to show him the buildings of the temple. 2 In response he said to them: “Do YOU not behold all these things? Truly I say to YOU, By no means will a stone be left here upon a stone and not be thrown down.”
    3 While he was sitting upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples approached him privately, saying: “Tell us, When will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?”
    4 And in answer Jesus said to them: “Look out that nobody misleads YOU; 5 for many will come on the basis of my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. 6 YOU are going to hear of wars and reports of wars; see that YOU are not terrified. For these things must take place, but the end is not yet.
    7 “For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another. 8 All these things are a beginning of pangs of distress.

    May 17, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cheese Wonton

      Good grief where do zeros like this come from? Oh well, more job security for those with an education.

      May 17, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allen

      Great Fictional Story! Amazing all the beliefs in nothing that has ever been proving. I believe the Dallas Cowboy's are going to make it to the Super Bowl! HAHAHAHA!!! You wake up and pick up a History book or a Science Book! You know facts that have been proven!!

      May 17, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dobro

      Yeah, yeah, yeah...

      May 17, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • BigHwasdemo

      I hear you god, I hear you. I am converted to the true word of the lord. This was the sign I have been waiting for and now it cometh...NOT!

      May 17, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Thinks2010

    Sounds like Texas needs to improve its building codes. I live in an area where 4.3 quakes are not unusual. They might wake you up, rattle your dishes and maybe, just maybe, knock something off the edge of a shelf. If you have decent building codes that's about it. Sounds like this gave some Drill Baby Drillers a little fright.

    May 17, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JBS

    Some of you folks need to do a little research about quakes in Texas and surrounding areas.....

    May 17, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Creepazoid

    I tried to give Texas back to Mexico.
    They dont want it.

    May 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Thinks2010

    Hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, fires, floods and now quakes. God must be pretty displeased with Texans, or does that only apply to other states in the opinion of holier-than-thou Texans.

    If you live in Texas and have suffered from any of these misfortunes, you have my sympathy. But if you are among those Texans who say such things about other states when disasters happen, now you know how it feels when such things are said.

    May 17, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jason

    I live in Arp, Tx and felt the couch I was chillin in watchin t.v. shake for about 30 seconds. Now I know why lol.

    May 17, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. dowdotica

    keep messing with the part of the earth we don't see and sooner or later it will just implode. hasn't anybody noticed the sheer number of quakes world wide in the last 3-5 years? Mother earth is getting pretty piist!

    May 17, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • BigHwasdemo

      It's 2012, didn't you hear about the end of the world yet. BTW when we have no earthquakes is when we have to worry, that means we have no core left to generate convection. So don't worry, quakes are a good sign.

      May 17, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dobro

    Anybody notice that it's impossible to use the reply function? It just comes up as a regular comment.

    May 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
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