Low Magnitude Earthquake Rattles North Texas

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Did you feel it?

An earthquake shook parts of North Texas late on Thursday night. Facebook, Twitter and the phones at CBS 11 News were flooded with people who were wondering what had just happened to the ground below their feet.

According to the National Earthquake Information Center in Denver, the earthquake hit at 11:21 p.m. Thursday and was centered in Waxahachie. It was only a magnitude 2.5 quake and damage is unlikely. But the rattling was felt by a large number of people, most in east Fort Worth – 40 miles away from the epicenter.

Geophysicists say that the energy from earthquakes travels, and it is common for them to be felt far away from where they actually originate.

“I’ve been living here for a long time in Fort Worth,” said resident Richard Simms. Both he and his wife felt the quake and called the police, not knowing what else to do at first. “I’ve heard of them in other parts of the country, but not here.”

Police dispatchers said that many people had called to report the earth moving.

And the National Earthquake Information Center said that it is actually not unusual for an earthquake to happen in North Texas. The last one – a magnitude 3.0 – occurred on July 17.


One Comment

  1. mike says:

    I have never known of an earthquake in north texas..This is from gas drilling , period! Did nt happen until then !

    1. Billy Harvey says:

      North Texas sits on a fault-line. Period

      1. NiteNurse says:

        Then Mr. Harvey why haven’t we had more earthquakes prior to all this gas drilling? Why aren’t we more like California that experiences frequent earthquake? Please school us on your vast geological knowledge about earthquakes.

    2. Matt says:

      Yeah, because they drill ALL the way through the plates of the earth’s crust and created new fault lines. You’re an idiot.

      1. Michael says:

        Um you are an idiot, The drilling did not create a new fault line, that is impossible, the tectonic plates go much deeper than the crust. They would literally have to drive thousands of holes 40 km (24 miles) into the earth. Natural Gas fields sit only between 1 km (0.64 miles) and 6km (3.72 miles) beneath the surface. The fault that North Texas sits on has been here for thousands of years before humans even existed.

        Please at least do some basic research before you make yourself seem completely ignorant. I took Geology in both high school and college. This is very simple geology, I’m sure you can Google it if you don’t believe me.

      2. Ravinder Singh says:

        michael does not understand the importance of sarcasm

      3. Samir D. says:

        When a fellow Northern Indian recognizes sarcasm better than someone born here, you know Michael has no concept of it.

    3. Nickel says:

      high risk, highly polluting urban gas drilling is only beneficial in the short term for a few people. In the long term this will make North Texas a les desirable place to live and will reduce the quality of life. The corporations by then would have made their profits and move on.

      Some people are shown a few dollars to buy in and they are happy they got their money, but that few dollars is not worth the long term risk.

      1. Get Your Facts Straight says:

        There’s over 100 years worth of natural gas there. That’s not short-term for a few people. Where’s your evidence this is short term and of limited benefit?

      2. Nickel says:

        Short term not because of the quantity of natural gas, but the long term risks and pollution on the public would outweigh the benefits, making it not beneficial in the long term

        Read up on the fracturing process, amount of resources used, chemicals used and how they are disposed of. Read up on the condensor units and what they exhaust.

      3. Sharon Wilson says:

        Nickel, you are correct. Most of the gas stated as reserves is not recoverable using current technology and the water use is not sustainable.

        Industry inflates the reserves because that drives up their stock prices. Railroad Commission production records show that the wells deplete in just a few years.

    4. Sharon Wilson says:

      You are right, Mike. All across the nation, quakes have followed the fracking no matter where it goes. Drilling induced earthquakes have been confirmed in scholarly articles. There are people in the area with badly damaged foundations from the recent quakes.

      1. Michael says:

        You’re right. Low magnitude quakes do follow fracking, but that does not dismiss the fact that North Texas sits on a fault line that has been here since before humans were here. Earthquakes from fracking are completely unrelated to the fault line and occur relatively close the site of the drilling, then when they leave to drill somewhere else the quakes stop. However the fault line we sit on does indeed regularly produce low magnitude earthquakes which usually go unnoticed. The difference between the two is that the earthquakes from drilling do not cause the tectonic plates to move since the depth of the drilling is not even 1/20th of the thickness of the plates.

        With that being said, people do not have badly damaged foundations from the “recent” (quotes because they are only recently reported, but no recent) quakes. The damaged foundations are because the ground in North Texas is made up of black clay which is heavily effected by the weather conditions. Since we have not gotten much rain lately the ground is drying up and the clay is cracking. I’m sure you’ve seen these cracks in the ground that I’m referring to. The damaged foundations are 100% unrelated to any of the quakes we get (both natural and from drilling).

  2. Emilie Schultze Everett says:


  3. Emilie Schultze Everett says:

    I grew up in North Texas… Born in the 40’s. Never an earthquale.

    1. Smart Donkey says:

      You’re correct. There has never been an EARTHQUALE in North Texas, or the world for that matter.

      1. NiteNurse says:

        Brauer why don’t you ask CBS 11 if you can be in charge of correcting all the grammar and spelling errors on this web page? Then it can make you feel so much more superior that you were able to get a top notch education. Did you ever think that K and L sit right next to each other on the keyboard and the person just made a typo? I’m sure YOU never EVER made a typo in your OCD life!

      2. Smart Donkey says:

        Who the F— is Brauer?

      3. C Bauer says:

        She thought it was me, since I am the usual Spelling and Grammar Gestapo agent on these comment boards. Wasn’t me. I’ve been eating hummus and masturbating all day until mid-afternoon.

    2. Michael says:

      Just because you never felt one doesn’t mean they didn’t happen. There is a fault line that North Texas sits on. This fault line has been here way longer than humans have even been around. Low magnitude earthquakes are a common occurrence here, and have always been. They just are not usually noticed because either they happen in areas with low population or when too much is going on during the day for anyone to notice a tiny bit of shaking. The only reason they have appeared to be more common is because there are thousands of more people in North Texas and much more of the land is developed than back in the 40s, so they are just noticed more.

  4. Kristi Brown says:

    Actually seismic activity has, and does, occur here. I have, however, noticed an increase since fracking has become more widespread. I am assuming that drilling is not done over fault lines, but as the article stated, the “rattling” can be felt further away from where the quake starts. Following that same logic, one could assume that the vibration from a drill (fracking) can cause a disturbance some distance away from the actual point of drilling.

    1. STE says:

      I wonder if all this rattling is hurting businesses with billiards or bowling.

  5. Doofus & Goofus says:


    The earth is moving, the earth is moving!

    Runaway, runaway!

  6. Gumby Rules says:

    Or it could be:

    I feel the earth move under my feet
    I feel the sky tumbling down
    I feel my heart start to trembling
    Whenever you’re around

    TY Carole King

  7. Jay Collins says:

    All this has resulted from FRACKING.
    That’s why it wasn’t until the last couple years that this started happening…and they are always near fracking sites. The epicenters are around here have so far been north of DFW airport (near the holding site for the wastewater from fracking) and then in the mid-cities region where ALAS there are more fracking sites. Humans really are stupid. We will just keep removing the ground beneath us and then sit, stare, and wonder why our earth is crumbling. Well, the LORD told us we’d do this – saying that humans would “trample the ground beneath them”. Can’t say we weren’t warned.

    1. Gumby Rules says:

      I’m sorry to disappoint you but most of the seismic activity has been south of the DFW area. Last night’s was in Waxahachie.

      1. Jay Collins says:

        Correct…only one was north of DFW…and it was near the site where they “hold” the waste water in large caverns under the ground.

        All the others happened south of DFW…I mistakenly wrote “mid-cities” thinking that includes south DFW….my bad.

      2. Mike Bedi says:

        You aren’t disappointing anyone, Gumby.
        It’s the sorry state of affairs that has the little people defending the rich corporations while they destroy the land we all have to live on which is disappointing people. I’d say history will record this very much like when smallpox was brought intentionally to destroy the Native Americans….but then again, who will be around to talk about it?

      3. Two If By Tea says:

        Yes, those terrible rich corporations drilling for natural gas, a cleaner and domestically-overabundant alternative to oil. Damn them. Tax the rich!

        By the way, I made a new pitcher of Kool-Aid for everyone. The flavor is called Class Envy, and it’s really green.

      4. Lowtolerance says:

        tea partier, I’d suggest you kick that kool-aid habit. perhaps hire a professional deprogrammer as well. you’re quite sick.

      5. Two If By Tea says:

        I’m sick because I support free market conditions, lower income taxes, along with reduced government regulations and bureaucracy? I must be terminally ill, then. Guilty as charged!

    2. Michael says:

      Please please I beg all of you learn about what you are saying before you say it… NORTH TEXAS SITS ON A FAULT LINE THAT HAS BEEN HERE FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS!!!!! Low magnitude earthquakes have always been a regular occurrence in this region and they cause absolutely no damage to anything although they can be startling. The only reason they have appeared more frequent is because they have just been more noticed. These quakes usually happen in unpopulated areas, but since the DFW metroplex has seen a huge growth in population in recent years, these unpopulated areas now have people there to notice when the ground shakes. The drilling is not causing the tectonic plates to move or anything like that.

  8. Jay Collins says:

    “He gave me this explanation: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. 24 The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. 25 He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.” Daniel 7

  9. Jay Collins says:

    “The time has come for judging the dead….and for destroying those who destroy the earth.” ~Revelation 11:18 (please read the whole of Revelation)

    1. LOL says:

      Cuckoo alert!

  10. Steve says:

    Did anyone feel the one before that – about 10:30 am? Way milder than the pm one. That one dang near scared me outta my chair! Thought my house was coming down.

    I’ve been near downtown FW all my life & I’ve never felt the ground shake until this fracking started. Several wells around here… and coughing… and red eyes…

  11. Steve says:

    2.5 in Waxahachie? Hate to feel a bigger one near downtown FW! Makes me wounder if it cracked foundations in Waxahachie… or my own for that matter. Now I know I’ll never move to CA!

  12. Chris says:

    You anti-frac and anti-drilling people are nuts !

    1. Like says:

      I wish they had a “like” button like facebook, because I would this.

  13. eric starr says:

    You people are crazy it is not from fracking a quit complaining about red eyes and coughing its not from the drilling…… For a lot of us this drilling is our lively hood if you dont like it move!!!!

    1. Fort Worthian says:

      Of course you don’t want to believe your industry isn’t polluting our air or environment. No one’s discounting more cars, etc as part of the problem either. You’re the last person the rest of us would believe tho.

      1. mike says:

        it’s not from fracking. we live on a fault line that has been here for thousands of years and is 100% unrelated to fracking. Earthquakes are common in this region, they are just usually in an unpopulated area of north texas and always low magnitude so they aren’t noticed. The also are not strong enough to even cause as much damage to your foundation as the drought did.

  14. J says:

    DRILL BABY DRILL!!!!!!!!!

    1. America, F--- Yeah! says:

      F— YEAH!

  15. DFW Geologist says:

    These are low magnitude earthquakes. Period. A much larger source of enegery benetah the surface f the crust is needed to casue anything significant. I love how you people are so dramatic in thinking that the world is crumbling because of slight ground movement.

    1. SF says:

      Learn to spell & we’ll read your comments.

      1. AP Style Police says:

        You’re using an ampersand? Really? It’s three letters.

  16. Bill M says:

    Some of you people are a fracking cult. No, drilling and fracking did not cause an earthquake.

  17. Jamie Lewis says:


    Texas Earthquake History

    The October 22, 1882 earthquake felt, in Texas, was probably centered in Oklahoma or Arkansas; the total felt area covered about 375,000 square kilometers. At Sherman, Texas, heavy machinery vibrated, bricks were thrown from chimneys, and movable objects overturned. A May 3, 1887, earthquake in Sonora, Mexico, caused damage at Bavispe and was felt strongly in parts or Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. The epicenter was in the Sierra Madre Occidental Range.

    On January 8, 1891, violent shaking of buildings and a few toppled chimneys were reported from Rusk, Texas. These effects were evaluated as intensity VII, although other towns in eastern Texas along a northeast- southwest line through Rusk experienced tornadoes and sudden, violent wind storms producing effects similar to, and in some cases more damaging than, those in Rusk.

    A locally damaging earthquake occurred at Panhandle, Texas, on March 28, 1917. Some cracked plaster was reported, and children were evacuated from a school building (VI).

    Another disturbance occurred in the area on July 30, 1925. There were three distinct shocks over a period of 15 seconds. Major problems were the shaking of dishes from shelves and rattling and creaking of furniture (V). The shocks were felt over an area of approximately 518,000 square kilometers including distant points such as Roswell, New Mexico, 350 kilometers away; Tulsa, Oklahoma, 480 kilometers away; and Leavenworth, Kansas, 640 kilometers away.

    The 1931 western Texas earthquake heavily damaged many buildings at Valentine. Also, many chimneys fell (VIII). The shock occurred at 5:40 a.m. on August 16; although people were panic stricken, there were no fatalities and only a few minor injuries from falling adobe. Adobe buildings suffered most, and cement and brick walls in many places were badly cracked. Even though Valentine bore the brunt of the shock, damage was reported from widely scattered points in Brewster, Culberson, Jeff Davis, and Presidio Counties. Cracked walls and damaged chimneys were reported from several towns. The total felt area covered about 647,000 square kilometers in Texas and New Mexico and an estimated 518,000 square kilometers in Mexico. The earthquake was accompanied by rumbling subterranean sounds heard over practically the entire affected area. The shock, measured at magnitude 6.4, was strongly recorded on all seismographs in North America and at stations all over the world. Numerous aftershocks were felt in the epicentral region; the strongest, on August 18, was intensity V at Alpine, Lobo, Pecos, and Valentine and intensity IV at Carlsbad, New Mexico. A minor aftershock was felt at Valentine on November 3.

    Slight damage resulted from an earthquake in the Mexia – Wortham area on April 9, 1932. Loose bricks were thrown down, and some plaster cracked (V-VI). The shock was also felt at Coolidge, Currie, Groesbeck, Hillsboro, Teague, and Richland. A moderate earthquake affected an area of about 7700 square kilometers in northeastern Texas and an adjoining portion of Oklahoma on April 11, 1934. The tremor was most distinctly felt at Arthur City, Caviness, Chicota, Powderly, and Trout Switch (intensity V). Many persons who felt the shock reported having heard a roaring or rumbling noise. Two shocks were recognized by many observers.

    A widely felt earthquake with an epicenter in the Panhandle region occurred on June 19, 1936. Intensity V effects were noted at Gruver, White Deer, and Whittenberg, Texas, Kenton, Oklahoma, and Elkhart, Kansas. The area of perceptibility covered about 103,000 square kilometers. On March 11, 1948, another shock in the Panhandle area caused minor damage, consisting mainly of cracked plaster, in northern Texas, a few places in northeastern New Mexico and northwestern Oklahoma, and one place in southeastern Colorado. The strongest effects (VI) were reported from Amarillo, Channing, Dalhart, Electric City, Panhandle, Perico, and Perryton. The felt area, which was slightly larger than that of the preceding earthquake, covered about 129,000 square kilometers. The Texas Panhandle area was the center for another moderate shock on June 20, 1951. Damage to plaster (VI) occurred at Amarillo and Hereford. The felt region extended from Lubbock to Borger.

    Four shocks over 6 hours affected an area of about 26,000 square kilometers in northeastern Texas and bordering portions of Arkansas and Louisiana on March 19, 1957. Press reports noted that a few objects were upset and at least one or two windows were broken. Newspaper office and police station switchboards were swamped with calls from alarmed residents. Intensity V effects were felt at Diana, Elkhart, Gladewater, Marshall, Nacogdoches, and Troup, Texas, and Magnolia, Arkansas.

    A series of moderate earthquakes in the Texas – Louisiana border region near Hemphill started on April 23, 1964. Epicenters were determined on April 23, 24, 27, and 28. There were numerous additional shocks reported felt at Pineland, Hemphill, and Milam. The only damage reported was from the magnitude 4.4 earthquake on April 28 – wall paper and plaster cracked at Hemphill (V). The magnitude of the other epicenters changed from 3.4 to 3.7. Shocks were also felt at Pineland on April 30 and May 7. On June 2, three more shocks were reported in the same area. The strongest was measured at magnitude 4.2; intensities did not exceed IV. Another moderate earthquake on August 16 awakened several people at Hemphill and there were some reports of cracked plaster (V). The shock was also felt at Bronson, Geneva, Milam, and Pineland.

    The Texas Panhandle region experienced another tremor on July 20, 1966. The magnitude 4.8 earthquake knocked books from a shelf in one home and was felt by nearly all (V) in Borger. At Amarillo, an observer in the courthouse reported a chair moved 4 or 5 inches. A similar effect was noted at the Federal Aviation Administration control tower at the Municipal Airport; observers thought a truck had hit the tower. Several street signs were knocked down and windows were broken (VI) at Kermit from a magnitude 3.4 earthquake on August 14, 1966. The shock was also felt at Wink, Texas, and Loco Hill, New Mexico.

    Four small earthquakes occurred near El Paso on May 12, 1969. The first two shocks, 23 minutes apart, were measured at magnitude 3.3 and 3.4. One house in El Paso had hairline cracks in the ceiling and cracks in the cement driveway (VI). These earthquakes were also felt at Newman.

    On February 15, 1974, an earthquake in the Texas Panhandle caused plaster cracks (V) at Booker, Darrovzett, and Perryton. Similar effects were noted at Liberal, Kansas, and Texhoma and Woodward, Oklahoma. The magnitude 4.5 shock was felt over an area of about 37,000 square kilometers.

    Earthquake Information Bulletin, Volume 9, Number 3, May – June 1977, by Carl A. von Hake.

    1. Common Sense Is Dead says:

      THANK YOU! Not that it will convince any of these anti-fracking/anti-PROGRESS loons, but I appreciate your efforts.

  18. ford says:

    I was pretty flatulent last night. I thought it was the anchovy pizza. Call that “Gas Envy”

    1. C Bauer says:

      I ate at Joe T’s. Enough said!

  19. Freedom says:

    Nice Texas history, but not one mentioned this area being hit and that is the area we are talking about. From the Mayflower days our family settled in an area about 125 miles SW of DFW. No old timers I ever talked to or family members ever reported vibrating milk or coffee or moving decorations. As a child due to a movie I was concerned if any of the volcano’s in the U.S. would erupt since they hadn’t yet they existed, so I asked about quakes also since I did know CA. had them.
    Now I can say back in the late 80’s about 100 miles SW of FW in autumn on a warm day it seemed like the earth moved under my feet very briefly walking, so much so I wondered if it even happened. That was way before the current boom of gas wells, but there has been some oil and gas wells in the area.
    It is true we are on a fault line, one which has never been active in this area or else the stories would have been told. Gas drilling doesn’t go that far down, yet it is proven gas drilling has caused quakes and are probably responsible for all the ones being reported now. Not a concept of more people now, since they have always existed outside of cow town as well as inside all the DFW area.
    I took college geology and it never covered exactly what oil or gas does for the earth. We know oil lubes our cars, yet we have no ideal if it serves a purpose under the ground and the same goes with gas. As for your scientist, well they are hoping their satellite doesn’t kill someone on it’s way home tonight, again. What are the odds? Never happened in the past yet in the past there where not as many people, so that is the 1 time you can say more people do have an effect.
    As for those making a buck off the boom and saying consequences don’t matter in air, water and ground pollution you need to start thinking of someone besides just yourself. All that reminds me of is the drug dealers who can justify making a buck no matter the consequences to others. Look at all the superfund sites needing cleanup from business’s that boomed and ran out. Whole town in Ok had to move out. Never heard of all of America being contaminated by nuclear testing until Japan’s fallout came this way. One thing man cannot live without is water since as Data put it, we are nothing but bags of water.

    1. Pathological Liar, Husband of Morgan Fairchild (yeah, that's the ticket!) says:

      Your family settled near what is now known as the DFW area back during the Mayflower days? HA! I call total BS on that one. The Mayflower landed in 1620 in Cape Cod, MA. The only people in Texas during that time were the indigenous peoples of the land. 1690 was about the time when the Spanish set up missions in what is now EAST Texas, but until then, the region was pretty much forgotten about since Spain’s claim in 1519.

  20. Freedom says:

    Never fails instead of nicely showing a point lacking in definition a know it all comes along.
    From the Mayflower days means that is when part of them came to this country and worked their way to the DFW area in generations. Yes they where not on the Mayflower ship, but one of the others ships that came back in that time. Then top that I have Native American blood also which is Cherokee, care to pinpoint their locations before statehoods came about or pale faces?

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