TIMPSON, TX (KTRE) - Earthquakes literally put Timpson on the map when the U.S. Geological Survey began mapping induced, or "man-made caused" earthquakes.
In the past, the maps only identified natural earthquake hazards. Now, the small East Texas town is off the newest earthquake hazard maps.
Timpson's frequent earthquakes happened three to four years ago, but they're still talked about today.
"Hit me pretty hard that first one," Mike Crouch said. "It really scared the heck out of me.
The earth shook so often the USGS put Timpson on the first map that identifies both human-induced earthquakes and natural quakes. In Timpson's case, the ground shook due to environmental impact from the oil and gas drilling.
"I want to make sure that people to understand that fracking is not the primary culprit," said Dr. George Choy, a USGS seismologist. "The culprit is most likely water that is disposed of by injection into the ground."
A lot has changed since the earthquakes were so prevalent. Services like salt water collection sites aren't needed as much because the oil and gas industry has gone away. So have the earthquakes.
Timpson wasn't placed on the most recent short term earthquake hazard map. Still Timpson leaders feel safer knowing the experts are monitoring the situation should drilling resume.
"East Texas is the last place you think about earthquakes at, but now that we've had several of them, everybody still got it on their mind, and you just have to realize that it's a possibility from now on," said Chief Kent Graham with the Tmpson Police Department.
"We need some kind of way or another to find out when the possibility exists that there will be an earthquake," Crouch said.
Research geophysicists learned a lot from the Timpson quakes. The town's events were included in case histories. The research creates faster scientific reviews and even led to regulations for the oil and gas industry.
"It's not going to prevent the problem, but we're going to be able to watch it at least and monitor it better," Choy said.
It will provide some peace of mind to at least one East Texas town.
The government's one-year outlook for earthquakes can be found on the USGS Website.