Shallow magnitude 4.4 earthquake close to Snyder, Texas - 3.4 aftershock on Monday

Earthquake overview : At 07:27 AM local time, a short moderate earthquake struck the Snyder area. Too weak to create damage or injuries, but strong enough to scare people for a couple of seconds.
"I have Felt it" Reports --> see below + Let us know how you have felt this earthquake
To read the full story as it happened, we advise our readers to start at the lower part of the page (earthquake data).

Keep this page open or return regularly as we will be back with more details when they become available

Update 12/09 - 14:42 UTC : Strongest aftershock so far
M 3.4      2011/09/12 14:18     Depth 5.0 km      WESTERN TEXAS, USA
09:18:34 AM at epicenter
13 km (8 miles) N of Snyder
Satellite map of the greater epicenter area

Update 12/09 - 03:40 UTC : more "I Have Felt It" reports from the earthquake area (see below)

Update 21:56 UTC :  We have noticed 2 +2 aftershocks so far :
- 20:31 UTC or  03:31 PM LT -  2.7 magnitude @ 5 km : Epicenter location
- 18:36 UTC or  01:36 PM LT -  2.5 magnitude @ 5 km : Epicenter location

Update 20:20 UTC : was this quake caused by fracking of the oil industry ?  This a a (nameless) comment we received a couple of minutes ago : "i slept thru it but i work in the oil fields near and around where the earth quake struk and i am confident in saying it was caused by man. we dig and drill and extract and frac the earth leaving cavities. This wont be the last quake we create. When we will see what we are doing is creating vast damages to our earth."
What is fracking?
The process of drilling down and creating tiny explosions to shatter and crack hard shale rocks to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well. The process is carried out vertically or, more commonly, by drilling horizontally to the rock layer. The process can create new pathways to release gas or can be used to extend existing channels.
There are also worries that the fracking process can cause small earth tremors. Currently we have a lot of discussion whether the Virginia earthquakes were also triggered by fracking.

Update 20:19 UTC : 13 more "I Have Felt It" reports from the earthquake area (see below)

Update : only 43 people will experience a moderate shaking and 15,000 people a light shaking. More than 700,000 people a weak shaking. The shaking may be better felt in high rise buildings.

Update : the shaking value of todays earthquake is enough to generate minot damage like cracks in walls, broken plaster, etc. If people have felt the shaking or if property has been damaged by this earthquake, please let us know with the form below.

Update : MMI (Modified Mercalli Scale) values
NNW Roscoe, Texas - V (moderate shaking)
Abilene, Texas - IV (light shaking)
San Angelo, Texas - III (weak shaking)

History 1 : On February 15, 1974, an earthquake in the Texas Panhandle caused plaster cracks (V) at Booker, Darrovzett, and Perryton. Similar effects were noted at Liberal, Kansas, and Texhoma and Woodward, Oklahoma. The magnitude 4.5 shock was felt over an area of about 37,000 square kilometers.

History 2 : Four small earthquakes occurred near El Paso on May 12, 1969. The first two shocks, 23 minutes apart, were measured at magnitude 3.3 and 3.4. One house in El Paso had hairline cracks in the ceiling and cracks in the cement driveway (VI). These earthquakes were also felt at Newman.

History 3 :The Texas Panhandle region experienced another tremor on July 20, 1966. The magnitude 4.8 earthquake knocked books from a shelf in one home and was felt by nearly all (V) in Borger. At Amarillo, an observer in the courthouse reported a chair moved 4 or 5 inches. A similar effect was noted at the Federal Aviation Administration control tower at the Municipal Airport; observers thought a truck had hit the tower. Several street signs were knocked down and windows were broken (VI) at Kermit from a magnitude 3.4 earthquake on August 14, 1966. The shock was also felt at Wink, Texas, and Loco Hill, New Mexico.

History 4 : A series of moderate earthquakes in the Texas - Louisiana border region near Hemphill started on April 23, 1964. Epicenters were determined on April 23, 24, 27, and 28. There were numerous additional shocks reported felt at Pineland, Hemphill, and Milam. The only damage reported was from the magnitude 4.4 earthquake on April 28 - wall paper and plaster cracked at Hemphill (V). The magnitude of the other epicenters changed from 3.4 to 3.7. Shocks were also felt at Pineland on April 30 and May 7. On June 2, three more shocks were reported in the same area. The strongest was measured at magnitude 4.2; intensities did not exceed IV. Another moderate earthquake on August 16 awakened several people at Hemphill and there were some reports of cracked plaster (V). The shock was also felt at Bronson, Geneva, Milam, and Pineland.

History text : courtesy USGS

"I Have Felt It" reports as received by
MMI values (if indicated) after the text (III: Weak shaking, IV Light shaking, V Moderate shaking, VI Strong shaking, VII Very Strong shaking)
Nolan County, TX: Thought my chair had slipped... One or two seconds in length. Friend in Brownwood emailed, "Did you feel the earthquake?" I had felt a mild quake that rattled glass 40 years ago in California... lasted a few seconds.
San Angelo, TX: 7:27 A.M.  9/11/2011  The bed and the light shook for 3-4 seconds.
Snyder, TX: Woke me from sleeping. Bed shaking,daughter crying,dog barking and hubby running outside to see what was going on. Lasted only a few seconds but felt stronger than the one we had in March.
Snyder, TX: Got woken up by this one. At first I thought a vehicle hit my house. Then I realized that the shaking was lasting too long. It lasted for a few seconds and ended just before we got in a door way. I called my brother about 1/2 a mile away and he felt the same thing. I've lived here for over a year and we've had earthquakes in the past. The only difference is that I've never felt them. I definitely felt this one.
San Angelo, TX: It shook hard enough to wake me up, but not so strong that I thought it was an earthquake. We live in military housing(duplex) so I initially thought it was caused by something our neighbors were doing. I only recently heard that it was actually an earthquake.
San Angelo, TX:I felt the earthquake south of Snyder,here in San Angelo, Tx...i was in a sound sleep.  Then i was awakened by my bed and room was a light shake, but enough that it woke me up.
Colorado City, TX: Was woke up and thought the train was going by but a few minutes later the train did go by and I thought thats strange,that two trains passed that close.also I have never felt the house move when a train passed ,but thats what I felt was the house moving then after lunch my wife asked me if I felt anything right before I got up and I said yes but thought it was a train so I googled tremor on Texas an to my surprise 4.4 tremor this morning near Snyder wow .
Colorado City, TX: We didn't hear anything, but our bed was moving. Since my husband and I were still more than half asleep we thought one of the cats was scratching her ears. (She gets a little carried away and it's make the bed shake.) Now, I'm sorry I slept though my first earthquake.
San Angelo, TX: Felt my bed lightly shaking as if my daughter was climbing onto the bed. Thought I was dreaming ?
Baird, TX: This morning I felt the earthquake that shook our house. It felt like something had pushed against the house and it  was string enough to wake my wife up. We did not know what was going on as there was no violent winds or weather. Interesting to find out that it was an earthquake.
San Angelo, TX: Around 7:30 am on Sunday, September 11, 2011 we felt some shaking at our home.  The doors to our cabinets rattled a little.  I noticed that a small earthquake occurred close to Snyder, TX.  That's close to 90 miles North of San Angelo.
San Angelo, TX: I was sleeping, and felt like I was being shaken awake. I shot up, since I'm used to being shaken awake and needing to get up right then and there, but no one was around. The door was shaking for a couple of seconds, but nothing else seemed to be shaking, and nothing else in the room was disturbed. I didn't know it was an earthquake until I talked to a friend about it and decided to look it up.
Dickens, TX: I was in bed and felt the bed tremble at around 7:30 a.m. this morning and thougt the dog was sleeping next to the bed and had leaned against the bed and was scratching, but when I looked, the dog wasn't there.  I got up and told my wife that I thought I had felt a small earthquake and she said she too felt it as she was in another room on the computer.
Abilene, TX: We live in the middle of Abilene.  My daughter and I both heard things rattling.  I could see my dog outside, and she must have heard something, but not enought to upset her.
Abilene, TX: yes,I felt it here in Abilene around 7:29ish, was up already but just lying in bed when bed shook from side to side (which it sometimes does when trains go by) but not like this and walls creeked, glass objects on shelf shook & noticed water in glass vibrating. Have been in quakes before (Calif & Nev) and new exactly what is was but felt stupid asking people about it since nobody else felt it. glad I googled it and found this info. THANKS!
Taylor/ Abilene, TX: It was about 7:30. I heard a window make a creaking noise and then the bed started shaking for a few seconds, unlike anything I had ever felt. I knew that I wasn't dreaming but I also wasn't sure what had happened. Later when my son told me that he found out on Facebook, that there had been an earthquake, I realized what I had felt was real. I live 2 block west of Sayles BLVD, on S. 11th.
San Angelo, TX: I was asleep this morning when the earthquake woke me up.  Not strong enough to knock anything off my counters/shelves, but definitely pretty strong as I'm a deep sleeper!
Big Spring, TX: Windows rattled for a couple of seconds. A few black walnuts fell off of tree onto roof of house.
Midland, TX: Half awake - couldn't figure out for sure what it was - lasted only a few seconds - neighbor about a block away had some rocks in front of his house setting on edge - noticed they were laying flat and wondered if it hald something to do with what I had heard and felt - later heard about the quake.
Wolfforth, TX: We are in Wolfforth in our RV, and I woke up to our RV shaking. I thought it was a big gust of wind, but I noticed the wind was not blowing outside. It was more like a ripple effect. It did feel really strange!
San Angelo, TX: I'm a very light sleeper, and my mattress is on the floor. It felt like something was moving may bed, or someone was gently shaking me awake. I woke up for a couple of seconds and saw some dust fall from my ceiling but thought nothing of it and went back to sleep. I figured I was dreaming it. I wasn't going to say anything about it until my mother giddily told me that we had an earthquake. I thought she was joking.
Abilene, TX: Early morn, around 0730 am.  Was lying on couch watching the television, cat was on love seat. Apartment shook causimg picture frames to fall off of tall enertainment center. Cat freaked out about 2 minutes before it hit. She was scared as if cornered by a large dog. Been searching all day trying to find if any quakes happened. So far i heard about snyder and heard rumors of one in san angelo. Nothing confirmed on that one
San Angelo, TX: With it being Sept. 11th, I was thinking the worst, then thought maybe a car hit our apt. building.  Hubby slept through it all!
San Angelo, TX: There I was...minding my own business...half asleep, tryin to take my mornin crap on the toilet, when all of a sudden the toilet started shaking and the whole apartment was shaking. It scared the crap outta me and I thought i was gonna fall off the toilet. I told my fiance and he said I was crazy!! Little does he know there really was a earthquake!!
San Angelo, TX: the house shook for just a couple of seconds,dishes rattled and the cats scattered. a sonic boom with no boom.
more "I Have Felt It" reports from the earthquake area (see below)
Ballinger, TX: the house shook and the cabinet doors rattled.
Abilene, TX: I was very groggy and wondering why my bed was moving and what the rattling sound was in my room, but I didn't realize it was an earthquake until my mom called and asked me about it tonight.  It was early this morning, around 7:30am.
San Angelo, TX: I was standing by my bed at 7:27 am this morning. My mirror to my dresser, sits on my dresser and leans up against the wall. All of a sudden my mirror is just shaking against the wall. It was the craziest thing I have seen. It lasted for about 5 to 7 seconds. I thought the Lord was sending me a sign of some kind!!!! I just thank God it was not worse!!!
Christoval, TX: 17 miles South of San Angelo, TX. Slight vibration of floor and rattling of cabinet & glasses.  9/11/2011 @ 7:30 AM CDT.
Midland, TX: Awakend from a sound sleep.  It felt ask if some one were funny past your bedroom making the floor shake.  But the floor of my place is one a cement slab.  So I knew it was proably an earthquake.  
Midland, TX: felt it in our apartment (2nd floor) windows were shaking for about 6-8 seconds..
Midland, TX: I was up, but still half asleep. Bottles on bathroom counter rattled. Thought that was strange. Forgot all about until someone mentioned it at lunch. Realized it was an earthquake!

Discussion Forum : has just opened a (of course free) discussion forum. Be the first to enter what you experienced. Click here to be linked to it.

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 4.4
UTC Time : Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 12:27:45 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 07:27:45 AM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 10.3 km
Geo-location(s) :
19 km (11 miles) NNE of Snyder, Texas
57 km (35 miles) NW of Sweetwater, Texas
126 km (78 miles) SE of Lubbock, 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
Shaking map
Focal mechanism report
Human impact map


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I did feel it – Ik heb het gevoeld – Το έκανα αισθάνεται – Yo lo siento – 我的确感到了 – 私はそれを感じていました- Ich habe es gefühlt – Bunu hissediyorum yaptı – لم أشعر أنه


  1. All,

    I am a practicing engineer and I have been working on a new theory on triggers for eartquakes that are followed by sinkholes and extreme weather and atmospheric events. If you have any feedback or observations that fit it would be great to hear from you. I have already run it by a NASA scientist and they are interested in me keeping them updated.

    My theory is a different approach but appears to fit many observations.

  2. I felt some light shaking.  Our upstairs windows were rattling and shaking - nothing I have ever heard before - and it lasted for about a minute.

    • Tonya Shook says:

      The Quake felt in Snyder, TX was so strong it work me up with a loud boom and jar of our house.  I at first thought it was a huge clap of thunder in a thunderstorm, Well....not here!  It indeed was a quake and not having lived with them, was beginning to doubt what I was awaken from until my neighbor told my husband he is a sound sleeper and it shook and woke him up too.  So glad I didn't imagine it, ha, but my goodness, not happy about moving to a place that has quakes.  Tonya