Local News

Texas Panhandle Shaken by Magnitude 4.0 Earthquake

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A magnitude 4.0 earthquake shook parts of Texas and Oklahoma on Saturday, October 20. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, it took place approximately 9 miles NNE of Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle at 8:04 a.m. The quake was recorded at a depth of three miles.

Of late, thousands of earthquakes have been recorded in Texas and Oklahoma, with a number of them allegedly being linked to oil and natural gas production and operations. The process of injecting wastewater underground from such operations has been noted as a possible culprit in some of these quakes. Although no reports of injury or damage appear to have resulted, over 800 people have reported the quake to date, according to the USGS.

Texas Panhandle Shaken by Magnitude 4.0 Earthquake

Photo: Flickr/Joe Diaz

Geologists have stated it’s highly unlikely that damage will result from an earthquake registered at a magnitude of 4.0. In the meantime, producers of oil and gas in Oklahoma have been directed by regulators to reduce volumes in some injection wells and completely close others. Of note, however, is the fact that this type of earthquake isn’t rare in the Texas Panhandle, and it may be too soon to truly determine the source or cause.

The tracking of the temblor activity in Texas has been maintained by sites such as Volcano Discovery, taking note of the date, time, and magnitude, as well as specific location in the Lone Star State. Data such as this can help determine any correlation to man-made activities, plate shifts, and other such developments, proving helpful in addressing critical needs of the region as well as future plans in industry, housing, and emergency response.