BIG COUNTRY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Did you feel a shaking early Thursday morning? The US Geological Survey (USGS) measured a 4.7 magnitude earthquake in Scurry and Fisher Counties around 4:30 a.m., calling it the largest quake felt in the last couple of weeks. One geophysicist predicted there would be more to come.
Linda Wright from Hobbs told KTAB/KRBC she fears what might happen if earthquakes like this continue.
“I’m afraid if this keeps happening, I will have severe damage to my home. I’m a 75-year-old, and I don’t want it to cave in,” implored Wright.
The earthquake caused damage to Wright’s front porch. Even though she said she’s felt these quakes over the years, they’ve been getting worse.
Brent St. Clair, a neighbor of Wright, reported a bit of damage in his home as well.
“I’ve experienced earthquakes, but not one this big,” St. Clair shared. “There were things flying off the walls everywhere.”
Even though the earthquake was near Hermleigh, some Abilene residents were awoken by shaking, like Iris Otero.
“It was interesting, feeling an earthquake for the first time,” described Otero. “It was like, ‘am I moving? Is the ground moving?'”
On Otero’s doorbell camera, she caught what she believes to be the sound of Thursday morning’s Big Country earthquake.
Some speculated the earthquakes to be results of fracking, a way of extracting oil, in the area. However, geophysicist from USGS, John Bellini explained, “The ones that we have found are related to oil production, are from waste-water injection back into the ground. Not fracking directly but telling if a specific one or small form is related to. That is not something you can do without a big study.”
Through the past few years, Bellini expertly detailed that the earthquakes have, in fact, been more active. But there is no way to predict a quake beforehand.
“Since there have been a series of earthquakes there over the last month-and-a-half or so, or last couple of months, there’s probably going to be more,” cautioned Bellini.
The geophysicist also told KTAB/KRBC there have been 26 earthquakes in the Hermleigh area since January, but those quakes are mainly seen north of Snyder. Since the turn of the year, Bellini said Snyder’s had hundreds of earthquakes.