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5.4 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes West Texas


Location of west Texas earthquake | Image by NBC DFW

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A 5.4 magnitude earthquake rattled West Texas in Loving County on November 16.

This earthquake is the third strongest ever registered in Texas, behind the 5.7 Marathon earthquake in 1995 and the 5.8 Big Bend-area earthquake in 1931.

This earthquake was detected after 3:30 p.m. near the unincorporated community of Mentone at a depth of just over four miles, according to the United States Geological Survey. This region has been identified as seismically active, with over a thousand earthquakes of magnitudes of 2.5 or higher occurring within about 30 miles of the recent quake since 2018.

Several aftershocks ranging from magnitudes 2.6 to 3.8 were detected near the epicenter of Wednesday’s earthquake hours later, according to NBC 5.

San Antonio College canceled classes after students reported feeling the structure of the Moody Learning Center shaking, according to News West 9.

Given the strength of the quake, Jim DeBerry, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Midland, Texas, posited that there was likely some damage done to the remote oil patch and scrubland. Yet none has been reported so far, according to AP News. He also said there were reports of people feeling vibrations 200 miles west in Ciudad Juárez and 200 miles south in Terlingua.

State Representative Eddie Morales Jr. tweeted, “This afternoon an estimated 5.3 earthquake occurred near Mentone in Loving County. I have spoken with local officials and with the Texas Department of Emergency Management.”

“At this time there are no reported injuries or damage. Officials will be inspecting roads, bridges, and other infrastructure as a precaution,” he continued.

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