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. Neill Walters

    Hello! Look at USGS earthquake list again, folks....they finally had to join the rest of the world's earthquake sites and upgrade that quake to 4.8. Not 4.3- it was 4.8 all along and they were down-playing it until people stopped checking. 4.8!!!

    May 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      It was felt as far away as Grand Cane, Louisiana and in Shreveport, too.

      May 20, 2012 at 5:01 am | Report abuse |
  2. Charlie

    Don't worry about it, the faults are on the Mt. Enterprise fault line and are just to be expected. They have nothing to do with fraccing or water injection. This is an old rockhead speaking - I mapped some of the Mt. Enterprise fault zone back in the 1949-1951 time.

    May 21, 2012 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  3. Name* bigdaddy

    Quit blaming the earthquakes on god and oil and gas industry . This area is located on top of a fault Line , and has has earthquakes far longer than there has ever been any recovery of oil and gas and god isn't causing the problem. Our earth is made up of tectonic plates that move constantly along with continintal plates that were formed over time from the collision of other plates ,volcanoes,and other. Natural causes. Injection wells only replace water that has been previously removed by the production of oil and gas , and hydrolic fracturing works on a horizontal plane out from the well caseing and the deepest well in the area is 11500 feet deep and the wells are taking place at a depth of around 16000 feet so there is no relation between quwakes and oil and gas production so before u make all of these uneducated statements maybe you should study the facts so that you dont sound so ignorant to the rest of the world .thanks bigdaddy .

    May 22, 2012 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
  4. this person

    fracking should not be confused with injection wells...but you can't frack without having an injection well to get rid of the waste water!

    May 23, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Name* bigdaddy

      This is true and to get the injection well you have to have prevoius oil and gas recovery I.e. somewhere in the past that well was also fracked to release oil and gas so they would be able to use the depleted the zone and start injecting waste water back into the zone .

      May 24, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  5. tokyo080

    Has anyone noticed that the USGS has been removing a lot of the earthquakes from their maps before its been a month? You can find them on the spread sheets but you really have to dig for them. Kind of weird

    June 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
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