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New Year’s Day Earthquake in Texas

Texas started the new year with a 2.4 magnitude earthquake in the Dallas suburb of Irving at 8:29pm on January 1, 2015.

The Dallas Morning News reported that the small shaker occurred near the old Texas Stadium. This is in the same vicinity as the 2.8 magnitude temblor hit on December 30.

Considered a weak quake, it was a shallow one, too, emanating from a mile below the ground’s surface, the Dallas Morning News also reported.

According to the US Geological Survey (USGS) it could be felt in Northwest Dallas.

The New Year’s Day surprise was the 17th earthquake to shake up Irving since September 2014.

Although most people don’t associate seismic activity with Texas, the USGS says that the Lone Star State does have its own history of the earth moving, perhaps less prolific than on the California coast or around the Pacific Rim.

The Balcones Fault is located in the area where these tremors have occurred. There has been speculation that the Trinity East’s gas-drilling site nearby is to blame for the jolts, but according to the USGS, the fault line has been more active, though it is considered to be one of the lowest risk earthquake zones in the United States.

Previous to recent rattling, on January 22, 2013, the Balcones Fault unnerved Irving residents with a magnitude 3.0.

According to the USGS, mostly moderate shakers have rocked Texas over the years, some dating back to the late 1880’s. In May 1887, one was strong enough to be felt in three states – Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. The epicenter of that one was the Sierra Madre Occidental Range.

The strongest seismic shockwaves in Texas happened near Valentine on August 16, 1931. It was a 5.8 magnitude earthquake.

East Texas experienced mild 3.4-3.7 magnitude earthquakes in 1957 along the neighboring Louisiana border and a stronger 4.4 magnitude shock in 1964. Four small 3.3 and 3.4 magnitude tremors touched El Paso on May 12, 1969, while a manageable 4.5 magnitude temblor shook the Texas Panhandle on February 15, 1974.

The USGS stated there was little to moderate damage from these historical earthquakes and no lives were lost.

Of course, someone on the West Coast in serious earthquake county would say that the real rocking and rolling does not begin until that Richter scale hits and goes above 6.0.

Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter at @OutOfTheBoxMom.

 

 

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