Earthquake shakes ETX

Lennie Ruth Jones, Barbara McDonald, JoAnn Barton exchange earthquake stories
Thursday, May 10, 2012 - 10:18am

An earthquake measuring 3.9 shook parts of East Texas this morning, according to the National Weather Service.

They say it happened just southeast of Garrison at around 10:30 a.m.

The quake shook buildings within the town of Garrison and the surrounding area.

Employees of a Garrison business (pictured above) on Highway 59 felt the rumble.

They tell Fox 51, the quake felt like a "bang and jolt", and some items fell off the shelves and wall, but the effects of the quake were minor.

An eye witness from Nacogdoches, a city 24 miles away from the epicenter, says they felt the ground shake. Residents in Center, Garrison, Gladewater, Mount Vernon, Tenaha, Timpson and White Oak have also reported feeling the quake.

According to the United States Geological Survey, a magnitude 4.0 earthquake can be felt as far away as 60 miles from where it happened, and infrequently causes damage near its source. The USGS is reporting the earthquake registered a 3.7 on the Richter scale in Timpson.

Jason Hansford, Senior Meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Shreveport, tells Fox 51 that "the National Weather Service is not aware of any major fault lines across East Texas."

There are reports that fracking my have contributed to the small quake, however, Hansford says, "any reports of fracking as the cause of this earthquake is just speculation."

The National Weather Service has not yet received the damage results for the area.

The Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety are currently surveying damage. There have been no confirmed reports of serious damage or injuries in Nacogdoches County.

A gas leak on State Highway 7 east had been reported to Nacogdoches County officials at about the same time the quake, but authorities say it was not related.

“County Judge Joe English has been in contact with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and they will be checking the dam at Lake Naconiche for any structural damage”, said Greg Sowell, Public Information Officer for Emergency Management. “There is no obvious damage there, but the lake is in the area where the quake was felt”.

A limited Emergency Operations Center has been opened in the Nacogdoches County courthouse to monitor the situation.

Shelby County officials are also checking for damage and ask that anyone living in that area who sustained structural damage to their property due to that event contact the Shelby County Sheriff's Office at 936-560-7777.

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