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Recent U.S. Quakes Renew Concerns Locally

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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Glen Mattioli is a University of Texas at Arlington Geology Professor. He says given his chosen profession, people ask him all the time if a big quake could shake North Texas.

Especially on days like Tuesday.

A magnitude 5.8 earthquake rocked much of the Eastern Seaboard Tuesday afternoon. The quake, centered in the town of Mineral, Virginia, could be felt as far north as New Brunswick.

That quake follows a 5.3 magnitude earthquake that hit Southern Colorado late Monday night, waking people in Denver, 200 miles to the north.

So what are the chances a big quake could hit North Texas? “I would think the probability is low, but it’s not zero,” said the professor.

Though smaller quakes have rocked the region over the past few years, he thinks there’s a reason behind them.

“In all likelihood they are related to the re-injection of fluids that have been used in the hydro-fracking to extract gas,” Mattioli said.

Helen Mitchell, who grew up in North Texas, was in Virginia when the quake hit. “I’ve never been through one before. I had no clue what to do. I was kind of following other people’s leads. It was very scary,” Mitchell said.

Given the choice of a earthquake or record breaking heat, Mitchell chose the lesser of two evils. “I’d rather have the heat than the earthquake,”

Mitchell is now an elementary school teacher in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, 40 miles from the epicenter. Mitchell says she and other teachers were preparing vocabulary lists for the first day of school before the earthquake hit.

Coincidentally, the theme they chose had to do with earthquakes.

The first day of school for Mitchell was supposed to start Wednesday. It has been cancelled due to the earthquake.

Tuesday’s Virginia quake even had an impact on a former CBS 11 & Newsradio 1080 KRLD personality. Chris Salcedo was anchoring a radio show live in Washington, D.C when the quake hit an hour to the south.

Chris live when earthquake strikes:

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