Earthquake overview : After an initial earthquake on May 10 with a Magnitude of 3.9, an even stronger M4.3 aftershock rattled the Timpson, Texas area.
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Important Update May 18 – 23:46 UTC :
USGS has updated the Magnitude of the earthquake from Mw4.3 to Mw4.8.
Such updates are very normal as scientists are recalculating all facets of the earthquake after setting a preliminary Magnitude. The new strength resembles more the many I Have Felt reports that we received. The depth of the hypocenter (breaking point) was changed from the initial value of 3.1 miles to 3 miles. This new Magnitude makes this earthquake one of the strongest of the last couple of years in the continental part of the USA.
Update 23:46 UTC : Fracking is again the talk of the town and is considered by many as the main cause of this quake. The fracking picture is unclear. In a discussion earlier in this site, a specialist told ER that Texas is not injecting the wastewater back in the underground as is done in some other states. Wastewater injection is seen as a major activity trigger. Even USGS is talking with a double tongue about the subject. Maybe, maybe … The area had also some historic quakes in a time fracking did not exist yet. The discussion will certainly go on.
Update 14:23 UTC : A lot of people are very concerned that an even bigger earthquake may be striking the area. First of all we have to say that aftershocks which are stronger than the initial mainshock are only happening now and then. The vast majority of aftershocks are less powerful than the mainshock and are gradually getting weaker. Although very rare, it can not be excluded neither, as today’s aftershock is showing. Aftershocks may also be expected in this case.
Update 14:14 UTC : news-journal.com (PanolaWatchman.com) writes that Shelby County Sheriff’s dispatcher Jacob Allen said the only injury report received so far was an elderly woman who fell out of her bed and cut her arm. Allen said the quake caused broken windows and fallen dishes, but no major damage had been reported. In a resident house, the chimney collapsed partly, throwing the chimney bricks into the living room and thus damaging some furniture.
Update 14:13 UTC : Following the Texas State Historical Association, earthquakes were reported in Rusk in 1891, Center in 1981, and Jacksonville in 1981. In other words, they are extremely rare in this area of the country.
Update 14:10 UTC: The home security camera inside a Texas house (location unknown) shows the kind of shaking that was experienced. Based on this footage, we believe that it must have been not too far from the epicenter. Although the origin of the video cannot be traced, earthquake-report.com has no reason to believe that this was a setup.
Update 09:31 UTC : Earthquake-Report.com does thank the Texas people for sharing their experience with the rest of the world (especially with their fellow Texans). I Have Felt it descriptions are still the best Earthquake value to be found. Magnitudes and Focal depths are of course important, but every earthquake (even with the same values) will be felt differently all over the world.
Videos from a TV Station with relevant footage
Phone interview with a Timpson inhabitant who had some damage in his house
Footage from a TV station with a reporter commenting showing also minor damage
Update 09:28 UTC : On May 10, we had a surprisingly “more than normal” number of earthquakes in unusual areas. It all started in Timpson, Texas with later during the day moderate quakes in Indiana and Oklahoma! We are of course very curious to see if a similar occurrence will be the case today. Normally, we do not expect it to happen again.
Update 09:14 UTC : Last earthquake gave only few moderate aftershocks, which hopefully will be the same today.
Update 09:09 UTC : Timpson and Tenaha are the towns where a Moderate shaking will have been experienced. Center, Carthage, Logansport, Nacagdoches, San Augustine, Tatum and Henderson will have experienced a (theoretical) light shaking. The area beyond this radius a weak to very weak shaking. These theoretical scenarios are based on the earthquake parameters in combination with the Felt intensity of historic earthquakes.
Update 09:07 UTC : Today’s earthquake happened in the middle of the night (03:12 local time), which is always a very scary experience for the people living close to the epicenter. A very shallow hypocenter adds to this experience.
Update 08:56 UTC : EMSC (European seismological agency) reports an initial M4.6 at a depth of 2 km. As you can imagine, we prefer the USGS data as most accurate in this case as USGS has a lot of equipment all over the territory.
Update 08:53 UTC : Based on theoretical estimates, 14,000 people will have experienced a moderate shaking and 143,000 people a light shaking. At Earthquake-Report.com, we can confirm these intensity expectations (based on the felt reports we have received).
Same epicenter area than the May 10 earthquake which was (only) M3.9. Only 6 km from Simpson, TX
The Experience report we received minutes after this aftershock, was right in stating that it felt stronger then the initial one. Serious damages are not to be expected, at max. a few cracks in walls and objects who are falling from shelves etc.
Earthquake May 10 – M3.9
This is what we wrote on the May 10 earthquake : Moderate earthquake below Timpson, Texas
” I was sitting at the computer when the entire house shook. I thought someone had ran into the house.” said Caroline Davis from Timpson. The earthquake was initially reported as a M3.9 earthquake and later decreased to a M3.7 at a very shallow depth of 5 km. Some local media are reporting the epicenter just South East of Garrison, although USGS maps the epicenter clearly below Timpson. Based on the Magnitude and the kind of shaking Caroline Davis has felt, we think the present location below Timpson is right. Defining the exact epicenter of an earthquake is always very difficult. It needs complex computing and an error margin is always included in the reporting of the seismological agencies. In this case the Horizontal error margin is 10.4 miles and the vertical 1.9 miles.
The max. shaking intensity as reported by people who have felt it was MMI IV (light shaking) to V (moderate shaking), enough to be scared seriously if you feel it.
The earthquake was felt well in a radius of 15 to 20 miles around the epicenter. Felt by few people in a radius up to 75 miles.
Some people reported a shaking of ca 10 seconds.
No damage or injuries have been reported so far. Earthquake-Report.com, following earthquakes worldwide every day of the year, expects NO damage or injuries from this earthquake. Fallen objects are always a possibility though.
Update : According to a meteorologist at the NWC, no damage has been reported in the area. He said he did not know how an earthquake could have hit the area, as there are no significant fault lines.
Update : A resident from Garrison county said the earthquake caused cracks on bricks at his house.
Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 4.3
UTC Time : Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 08:12:01 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 03:12:01 AM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 5 km (3.1 miles)
Very close to Timpson, Texas
45 km (27 miles) NE of Nacogdoches, Texas
Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map showing the epicenter and the surrounding area
Historic earthquakes map
Seismic hazard map
Human impact map
|USGS||Eastern Texas||May 17 08:12 AM||4.3||5||MAP I Felt It|
|EMSC||Eastern Texas||May 17 08:12 AM||4.4||2||MAP I Felt It|
May 10, 2012 I Have Felt It reports
Click here for examples of our “earthquake notifications (button below)”
|USGS||Eastern Texas||May 10 15:15 PM||3.9||13||MAP I Felt It|
|USGS||Eastern Texas||May 10 15:15 PM||3.7||5||MAP I Felt It|
|EMSC||Eastern Texas||May 10 15:15 PM||3.7||5||MAP I Felt It|
EARTHQUAKES IN THE STABLE CONTINENTAL REGION
Most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains has infrequent earthquakes. Here and there earthquakes are more numerous, for example in the New Madrid seismic zone centered on southeastern Missouri, in the Charlevoix-Kamouraska seismic zone of eastern Quebec, in New England, in the New York – Philadelphia – Wilmington urban corridor, and elsewhere. However, most of the enormous region from the Rockies to the Atlantic can go years without an earthquake large enough to be felt, and several U.S. states have never reported a damaging earthquake. The earthquakes that do occur strike anywhere at irregular intervals.
Earthquakes east of the Rocky Mountains, although less frequent than in the West, are typically felt over a much broader region. East of the Rockies, an earthquake can be felt over an area as much as ten times larger than a similar magnitude earthquake on the west coast. A magnitude 4.0 eastern U.S. earthquake typically can be felt at many places as far as 100 km (60 mi) from where it occurred, and it infrequently causes damage near its source. A magnitude 5.5 eastern U.S. earthquake usually can be felt as far as 500 km (300 mi) from where it occurred, and sometimes causes damage as far away as 40 km (25 mi).
Earthquakes everywhere occur on faults within bedrock, usually miles deep. Most of the region’s bedrock was formed as several generations of mountains rose and were eroded down again over the last billion or so years. (text : courtesy USGS)
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