Local News

Three Earthquakes Shake Things Up in West Texas

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According to the United States Geological Survey, the area of West Texas experienced a whole lotta shaking the morning of Thursday, March 26, 2020. Mentone, Texas, was the nearest town in which an earthquake at a depth of 3.1 miles hit, in addition to two other, smaller earthquakes. The earthquakes occurred around the same zone, about 25 to 27 miles west of the small town, in the county of Loving. Despite being 200 miles away from El Paso, some residents in the metropolitan area there reported feelings of ground movement.

The first earthquake was of 3.8 magnitude at 3:50 a.m., the second was of 4.7 magnitude at 10:15 a.m., and the third was of 3.0 magnitude and occurred just after 11 a.m. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. Earthquakes ranging from 4 – 4.9 are considered ‘light,’ and are usually felt by people and animals but typically do not cause damage. Mentone is located 51 miles from Carlsbad, New Mexico, and 77 miles from Odessa, Texas. Over the past year, the town has experienced 108 earthquakes.

Three Earthquakes Shake Things Up in West Texas

Photo: envato elements

Mentone is Loving County’s sole community and had a population in 2010 of 19. In 1967, the town was titled a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark as the “Smallest County Seat in Texas.”Additionally in Texas history, Mentone was the home of Texas’s first elected female sheriff, Edna Reed Clayton DeWees. First appointed in January 1945, then elected through 1947, she did not carry a firearm, and only reported two arrests for the entirety of her term. She continued to work for the local government until the mid 1980s. The community experienced a 30 percent drop in population between the 1990-2000 censuses, which exemplified the single largest percentage drop in all of the United States. Have you ever felt earthquakes in West Texas?