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)

    I just know that non-American Obama had something to do about this. I know it. Just wait until I can figure out a way to blame him. Yes sir. Just you wait.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mr Dalloway

    If America is nearing it's end I hope it comes swiftly.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rodger

    Matthew 24:7- earthquakes, in divers places.
    Jesus is coming soon. The earthquakes are just one of many signs. Please be ready.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rex Riley

      In 'divers' places? As in scuba, springboard? Be more specific! And Jesus WAS here already. Some folks nailed him to a tree so I doubt he's inclined to come back. I mean, would you?

      May 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Youareafool

      There is no jesus you fool.

      May 17, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ally

    Except that in the article it states that it was likely due to "injection wells" in the area. And specifically states that they are different than "fracking".

    May 17, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Big_D

    Pumping water and solvents into shale sounds like a great idea. How do caves form naturally? What happens when caves collapse? I was hoping to T-Bone Pickens fans would help the with geology that apparently is not being taught in school any more. Did natural gas form from the wicked being covered by the flood? Come on geologists why is water in shale such a bad idea?

    May 17, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brendan O

      Its not the water in the shale that's the issue, it's the solvents. During fracking they inject not only water but a chemical compound used to basically loosen up the oil deposits. When this later drains into underground aquifers, that are used for drinking and agriculture, the water is then tainted with chemicals. Any chemical that can loosen up million year old oil deposits i don't want in my food or drink.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bret

      Um you know oil is not in big caves right. Its in porous rock. They frak to crack the rock formation that allows the oil to flow.

      May 17, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Big_D

    Ally, you seem to be the expert. Please explain in detail what they are and how they are different.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Woody

    Every now and then the earth leaves off a little pressure all you have to look up USGS . Earthquakes happen every day somewhere . Always have always will we just decide to build buildings on the cheap that will not withstand them .

    May 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Big_D

    Don't be silly it isn't fracking that is causing the earthquakes. The collapse of the shale layer caused by the caves left by fracking are actually causing the earthquakes. It takes time for the water to eat the shale after the fracking is over.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mchambers_64

    What the frack is going on? All of those need to shut the frack up.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. BoredSecurityGarud

    Wow. You should learn how to read before.... fail

    May 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. rickwh

    For those who don't know – fracking is a process in which a slurry of chemicals and a special sand mixture are pumped into a well under extremely high pressure forcing the rupture of the shale and filling the void with this sand mixture, thus ensuring a greater flow of liquid – an injection well is a process where water is dumped into a well to replace liquid that has been captured in the drilling process. This is like putting a hose into a sewer line – it just flows in. (this is a good thing). Fracking on the other hand, can be a problem if overused – possibly resulting in man made earthquakes.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dustin

    Injection wells are the result of fracking, they put the waste water from fracking back in the ground.... weird how the article stated that...

    May 17, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jasoncdanforth

    Injection wells? There are injection wells all over creation. In fact, water, fluid, and gas injections are used in wells all over the world to move more oil and gas. They even collect CO2 gas and inject it underground to keep it out of the air and get more natural gas out. It's not the cause... unless you really really want to blame something political in the most ignorant way possible.

    In fact, it's very possible this quake released pressure from the ground that could have built up into a much larger quake. Hasn't this occurred to anyone? Does a child complain to their parents that the medicine is yucky but is glad to not be sick later? Of course not... kids don't know any better. Are you a child?

    May 17, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rod Bravender

    Now I hope you all start lisening to what I been telling you. Yes bouth types of drilling can couse earthquacks and sink holes. But most likely this earthquack was a shock wave from outher earthquacks around the world. Its called earthquack jumping. It happen when outher earthquacks send out shock waves and anything in the way of exsplove mater sutch as Gas and Oil, moveing Lava.boiling water, Salt in refinery wast draining down on lava,and so many outher things your not aware of. Volcano activity is up and subminer volcano are coming alive. Now is this a reaction from the Macondo well in the gulf of mexico. That it could be. Only thing left is are you going to get me the presidental order I ask for so we can fixs this. Or will you continue to play the wate and see game. It would help if American would start lisening the longer you wate the harder you make it to fixs the problem. Your chouse. Rod Bravender The Majestic Lion. Ps no the world is not coming to end. Its called restablelisation. Mean the earth is fixing itself

    May 17, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joy A

      It's hard to take somebody seriously when their speilling is as atrocious as yours.

      May 17, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • SeeBee

      Aren't earthquacks caused by ducks?

      May 18, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  15. Censorship is unAmerican

    I guess my time to comment has been blocked again.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
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