3.7 earthquake hits East Texas

Published: May. 10, 2012 at 2:36 PM CDT|Updated: May. 10, 2012 at 10:37 PM CDT
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Kyle Adkison shows the brick damage the earthquake caused on his house.
Kyle Adkison shows the brick damage the earthquake caused on his house.
This map illustrates significant earthquakes in East Texas history. The year is followed by...
This map illustrates significant earthquakes in East Texas history. The year is followed by magnitude in parenthesis.

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Residents in Shelby County and Nacogdoches County got a shaking surprise Thursday morning when a 3.7 earthquake hit southwest of Timpson.

The U.S. Geological Society reports the earthquake hit around 10:15 a.m. at a depth of 3.1 miles below the Earth's surface.

According to Jason Hansford, senior meteorologist at the National Weather Center in Shreveport, no damage has been reported in the area.

Hansford said he did not know how an earthquake could have hit the area, as there are no significant fault lines.

"It could be fracking issues," he said. "It's just a theory, but we don't have any significant fault lines."

Hansford said numerous reports have come from residents in the counties of Nacogdoches, Panola and Shelby County. The USGS is fielding reports of residents feeling the temblor in Garrison, Timpson, Center, Nacogdoches and Tenaha.

Garrison resident Kyle Adkison said the earthquake caused damage to bricks at his house on Fern Street.

"You can see the bricks itself actually broke in half," he said.

Nacogdoches County resident Fran Rosenberger said she was sitting at her table on County Road 816 when the earthquake hit. She said her house moved from north to south and lasted about 10 seconds. Nothing fell off of her wall, she said.

"I felt my entire body move," Rosenberger said. "I felt this table move. I felt, I could hear the house literally going north and south."

East Texans are used to working off the land, but not feel it move beneath them.

"The house was shaking so," said Kay Watts. "I looked out here, everybody was looking. It was some terror."

"Just to hear the noise in this house and everything shaking," said Phyllis Jolly.

And at Rudy's in downtown Garrison, the earthqake was the lunch discussion.

"From the school to the doughnut shop next door and everybody ran out wondering what happened cause they were scared," said Brittany Blackwell.

The neighbor down the street from Adkison had a porch pillar knocked off-center during the quake.

"I just didn't know what it was," said Bud Phillips. "I thought maybe it was a wreck up on the highway, but it was just too much shaking going on."

Anthony Roberts sells watermelon whirls from his ice cream truck, but this time he felt a whirl of a different kind.

"These oil companies ave disturbed the earth and I think it's just messing up everything," Roberts said.

USGS reports the earthquake was centered about one mile west of Timpson.

According to Nacogdoches Police spokesman Sgt. Greg Sowell, various crews are checking the structural integrity of bridges on state, federal and county roads. Officials with Union Pacific Railroad are checking railroad tracks and bridges in the area. The National Resource Conservation is sending officials from Waco to check the dam at Lake Naconiche.

The Texas State Historical Association cites a 80-kilometer segment of the Mount Enterprise fault system which caused earthquakes in 1891 and 1981, in Rusk and Center and Jacksonville, respectively.

Another series of moderate earthquakes hit Sabine County on April 23, 1964. According to the USGS, Hemphill was near the epicenter of the 4.4 magnitude earthquake. Aftershocks were reported in Pineland, Hemphill, and Milam. Cracked wallpaper and plaster were the only damage reported. More tremors, reaching 4.2 in magnitude, were reported in May, June, and August of that year.

In 1957, several shocks were reported at 4.7 in magnitude in the Gladewater area in Northeast Texas.

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