Residents concerned after two earthquakes hit East Texas

East Texas residents believe the quakes may be due to fracking

By Courtney Gilmore - Anchor/Reporter

TIMPSON, Texas - Residents in Timpson, Texas, are concerned after two earthquakes hit near the East Texas town.

The first earthquake was felt on Monday just before 5pm. The U.S. Geological Survey recorded a 4.1 magnitude earthquake. The next one hit a couple of hours later and measured in as a 4.3 magnitude earthquake.

"It was a little scary. We haven't had earthquakes around here, but in the last year we've had several," said Kay Lacy who has been living in Timpson for 16 years.

"I live on the top floor of an older frame home and I could feel it sway. I sat there and said 'I guess I'm going for a ride.' I sat there and just had to let it pass," said resident Laurie McDonald.

According to the Timpson Police Department there were no injuries because of the earthquake.

George Duke, who works at the Brookshire Brothers Food Store, says during the earthquake his store suffered some damage.

"Some items fell off of the shelves as the building started to shake. We also had some tile fall from the back ceiling, but no one was hurt so that is the best thing," said Duke.

Timpson is a town of about 1,200 residents and is near Nacogdoches, and 150 miles southeast of Dallas. Residents say the earthquakes are increasing in number, which gives them great concern.

"I worry about the next one coming, and you know there is another on the way," said Lacy.

Some residents believe the earthquakes are caused by oil and gas disposable wells, also known as "fracking." Hydraulic fracturing is the drilling process that injects water into a well at a high pressure, and releases oil or gas. Once the oil and gas is released the residual drilling fluid is pumped back into the ground.

These waste wells, or disposable wells, are thousands of feet into the ground.

"Coming into Timpson you'll drive past several disposable well sites," said Duke.

"A lot of people talk about fracking. It just doesn't seem safe that they pump salt water back in the ground it doesn't make sense to me," said McDonald.

According to the Nacogdoches Police Department, dispatchers did not receive any calls regarding damage or injuries associated with the earthquakes.

Geological maps show the first tremor, at least, occurred along a moderately active geological formation called the Mount Enterprise Fault System.

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