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IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) – North Texas has been rattled by 11 earthquakes in just over one day. The latest one took place just before 10:00 a.m. and measured 2.7 in magnitude. Another quake about 90 minutes earlier registered in at a 2.6 in magnitude.
There have been 12 total small earthquakes in the DFW area so far this year, all centered around the old Texas Stadium site in Irving. While none of the tremors have been particularly strong, they have caused a lot of concern about what to do if a big quake does strike.
The most damage reported on Tuesday and Wednesday included cracks in walls and ceilings, or personal items falling from walls or shelves. But even this has residents calling their insurance agents, wanting to know if earthquake damage is covered in their policies.
State Farm stated that earthquake damage is considered an endorsement on the policy, one that homeowners in North Texas do not likely have. However, insurance agents can easily add earthquake coverage to policies, and it is generally not very expensive in North Texas — an average of $10 per month. That is a step that many people in the DFW area are now opting to take.
The strongest Irving earthquake was a 3.6 in magnitude, happening early Tuesday evening. Seismologists stated that it takes a magnitude of 4.0 to start really seeing damages.
Here is a list of the earthquakes in the order of when they happened:
7:37 a.m. Tuesday 2.3 magnitude
3:10 p.m. Tuesday 3.5 magnitude
6:52 p.m. Tuesday 3.6 magnitude
8:11 p.m. Tuesday 2.9 magnitude
8:12 p.m. Tuesday 2.7 magnitude
9:54 p.m. Tuesday 1.7 magnitude
10:05 p.m. Tuesday 2.4 magnitude
11:02 p.m. Tuesday 1.6 magnitude
12:59 a.m. Wednesday 3.1 magnitude
8:34 a.m. Wednesday 2.6 magnitude
9:57 a.m. Wednesday 2.7 magnitude
There have been at least 26 earthquakes in the Irving area since November 1. Prior to that, the Azle area was rocked by a series of earthquakes in November and December of 2013.
Jana Pursley, a geophysicist from the U.S. Geological Survey, stated that Tuesday’s tremors were the “largest since the earthquakes started happening there in the last year.”
Scientists said that the quake cluster indicates stress in the Earth’s crust that needs to be relieved. Researchers rely on equipment installed all over Irving to help understand what is going on under the surface. However, more equipment is needed to get a full picture. A team from Southern Methodist University was in Irving on Monday afternoon to install a new seismometer.
CBS 11 reached out to seismologist Dr. Craig Pearson, who has been hired by the Railroad Commission of Texas, to investigate earthquakes across the state. A spokesperson said Dr. Pearson was unavailable for an interview, but he released the following statement on his behalf: “There are no oil and gas disposal wells in Dallas County. And I see no linkage between oil and gas activity [in] these recent earthquakes in Irving.”
READ MORE: North Texas Earthquakes
People from Dallas to Irving, Grapevine to Plano, Bedford to Mesquite, all reported feeling at least one of the quakes on Tuesday or Wednesday. Where you are located and what you are doing can have an impact on whether or not you feel a quake. For example, people in high-rise buildings will usually feel a more amplified shaking.
“Shook my whole house!” said CBS 11 News viewer Aprille Maganda from her home in the Las Colinas area of Irving.
Several people also called 911 to report the earthquakes on Tuesday and Wednesday. But the Irving Police Department has asked that residents refrain from such calls unless there is an immediate need for emergency assistance. Such calls clog up the lines for individuals with more critical needs.
Meanwhile, schools in the Irving Independent School District have started earthquake drills to prepare students. These drills include an online video providing instructions on how to drop, cover and hold on. Children will be practicing this tactic in class.
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