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North Texans Wondering About Cause Of Recent Quakes

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AZLE (CBS 11 NEWS) – Around the small town of Azle all the talk on Wednesday centered around the recent earthquakes.

Eleven earthquakes have now rattled Parker County in the last 15 days. There were at least three in Azle and in Reno, near Eagle Mountain Lake on Tuesday.

“It was rattling on top of the house something rattle – rattle – strange rattle,” described Azle resident Margaret Rickett. “This was a huge boom, I mean huge sonic boom.  My three dogs jumped up.”

Rickett says the jolt from the quake shook her walls and windows. “You felt it in the chair and you felt it under your feet. I thought earthquake, finally we’ve been in an earthquake.”

The 3.6 magnitude quake was the largest of the three in Azle on Tuesday and John Clouse said he’s felt most of them.

Clouse lives near two gas wells and he says he has no doubt they’re the cause. “I think [it's from] all the drilling. Country people around here have the feeling that it affected our water wells and we think it’s affecting this.”

Dr. Ken Morgan with Texas Christian University’s Energy Institute is working with the Railroad Commission to determine a cause for the quakes.

Morgan believes the earthquakes may be caused by the  underground disposal wells that drilling companies use to get rid of fluids. “It’s not fracking, because we really are not doing that around here much anymore at all,” he said. “There are 15 disposal wells in Parker County alone and if one or two of those got a little high, in what they are putting down the well… the volume got high. Guess what? That can send a little rumble up through the earth.”

Most of the recent earthquakes have been less than 3.0 in magnitude.

It could take weeks before the Railroad Commission determines a cause for the quakes.

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