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5.4 magnitude earthquake rocks west Texas just weeks after similar jolt – UPI News


Dec. 17 (UPI) — Western Texas was rocked by a 5.4 magnitude earthquake Friday, exactly one month after a similar quake struck the oil-producing region, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The powerful tremor was counted as fourth-strongest earthquake in Texas history by the U.S. Weather Service. No injuries were reported.

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Residents felt the quake, which struck near Midland, Texas, as far away as Lubbock and Abilene San Angelo. Locals also reported cracked tiles, walls and ceilings.

“The earthquake occurred within the interior of the North American Tectonic Plate far from any tectonic plate boundaries, and is therefor considered an intraplate earthquake,’ the USGS said in a statement.

The magnitude was originally reported as 5.3 before being updated to 5.4, then downgraded to 5.2, and finally upgraded back to 5.4. An aftershock about 3 minutes after the initial temblor registered at 3.6 before being downgraded to 3.3.

Friday’s quake comes one month after the same area of Texas recorded the third-largest earthquake in state history.

The area where Friday’s earthquake struck has experienced 120 earthquakes of 2.5 magnitude or greater since 2018 and the U.S. Geological Survey believes human activity has contributed to them.

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“Over the past two decades the central and eastern United States (CEUS) has experienced an increase in the occurrence of earthquakes,” the agency said.

“Scientific studies have linked much of this increase to human activity, predominantly wastewater injection into deep disposal wells. However, other mechanisms such as fluid withdrawal, enhanced oil recovery, or hydraulic fracturing processes can also result in induced earthquakes.”

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Dec. 17 (UPI) — Western Texas was rocked by a 5.4 magnitude earthquake Friday, exactly one month after a similar quake struck the oil-producing region, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
The powerful tremor was counted as fourth-strongest earthquake in Texas history by the U.S. Weather Service. No injuries were reported.

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Residents felt the quake, which struck near Midland, Texas, as far away as Lubbock and Abilene San Angelo. Locals also reported cracked tiles, walls and ceilings.
“The earthquake occurred within the interior of the North American Tectonic Plate far from any tectonic plate boundaries, and is therefor considered an intraplate earthquake,’ the USGS said in a statement.
The magnitude was originally reported as 5.3 before being updated to 5.4, then downgraded to 5.2, and finally upgraded back to 5.4. An aftershock about 3 minutes after the initial temblor registered at 3.6 before being downgraded to 3.3.
Friday’s quake comes one month after the same area of Texas recorded the third-largest earthquake in state history.
The area where Friday’s earthquake struck has experienced 120 earthquakes of 2.5 magnitude or greater since 2018 and the U.S. Geological Survey believes human activity has contributed to them.

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“Over the past two decades the central and eastern United States (CEUS) has experienced an increase in the occurrence of earthquakes,” the agency said.
“Scientific studies have linked much of this increase to human activity, predominantly wastewater injection into deep disposal wells. However, other mechanisms such as fluid withdrawal, enhanced oil recovery, or hydraulic fracturing processes can also result in induced earthquakes.”

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