SFA professor says earthquakes could be aftershocks

TIMPSON, TX (KTRE) - East Texas News is continuing coverage after more earthquakes rattle our area. The U.S. Geological Survey has recorded 11 earthquakes in Shelby County since May 2012. On Monday evening, two earthquakes shook the Timpson area just a couple hours apart from each other.

"I believe yesterday was as bad as I've seen," Frank James said.

Frank James has lived in Timpson for nearly 40 years and said the two earthquakes on Monday shook his house for about 30 seconds.

"I live in an 80 foot trailer house and it started rocking and shacking; bouncing up and down,' James said.

On Monday, East Texans reported feeling the first earthquake in Nacogdoches County.

"It felt like I was on a roller coaster in my stomach, and after that I realized what happened," Liz Arriola said.

SFA geology professor Dr. Wesley Brown has been searching for answers to the recent earthquake activity in East Texas.

"In this case we're still trying to find out if these earthquakes that occurred yesterday is somehow linked to the ones we had in May of last year, which was May 17 when we had a 4.8," Brown said.

Brown said the 4.8 is still considered a main shock earthquake, and the 4.1 and 4.3 that occurred Monday can be considered the after shocks.

"It's not uncommon for you to have aftershocks of earthquakes long after you've had a main shock because rocks continue to adjust themselves to release stress within the earth," Brown said.

In collaboration with the USGS, SFA is using portable seismic graphs that are placed in the ground.

"We've been picking up little earthquakes that no one reports and no one feels, but they're good for science," Brown said. "They help us to understand where they're coming from and what is causing them."

Brown said 66 earthquakes have been picked up on the graph since May 2012.

"We have them every once and a while around here," James said. "They're man-made."

But Brown said the cause is still undetermined.

"Whatever is causing them probably still might be the case, so until we probably get to the bottom and see we may never be able to say for sure what is causing them,' Brown said. "If whatever is causing them is still there, they might continue."

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