IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) – For the first time, seismologists are using the word “swarm” to describe all of the rumbling in and around the city of Irving. Taking another step in the investigation into the cause of the temblors, scientists will collect 14 of the 22 seismographs deployed around the area.
It was standing room only Thursday night at a city hall meeting where experts told rattled North Texans they couldn’t rule out the possibility of stronger quakes happening in the future.
There were a lot of questions presented at the meeting and some say not nearly enough answers.
Pamphlets from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that warn residents to get ready were handed out. The information inside proved just how little most North Texans know about the quakes.
Seismologists, local leaders, emergency personnel, and other experts gathered to give an unsettling message to the public.
Southern Methodist University seismologist Dr. Brian Stumps said, “I do not know whether this specific swarm will die out or will continue.”
The other mystery… what is causing the swarm of nearly 20 earthquakes just this month? The most popular theory of human activity caused by oil injection wells and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has not been proven.
Texas Railroad Commission seismologist Craig Pearson told the crowd, “At this time we have no evidence of any oil and gas activity to the earthquakes that are occurring.”
Despite comments made, experts say they’re still early in their investigation, and every cause possibility is still on the table.
Irving resident Susy Marino addressed the city council. “It makes me feel concerned, because I’ve been a resident for many years.”
Marino made her fears clear and pointed fingers at both leaders and experts who she thinks are dragging their feet in finding answers. “It not only bothers me, it alarms me. It makes me curious as to why they aren’t being proactive.”
Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne urged residents to be patient. “This is a new phenomenon in North Texas that a lot of us are not used to,” she said.
Some 22 seismometers have been around the epicenter of the earthquakes and scientists hope to get data soon that could lead to the answers so many people want.
Data from those 14 seismographs is expected to be collected by the end of the week.
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