El Paso feels aftershocks of 5.0-magnitude quake in West Texas


EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — El Pasoans this morning felt the aftershocks of a 5.0 magnitude earthquake reported at 9:16 a.m. Mountain Time in West Texas.

The U.S. Geological Service said the earthquake was 44 kilometers west of Mentone, Texas, about a three-hour drive east-northeast of El Paso. The event followed an earlier quake, a 3.8-magnitude, recorded at about 2:52 a.m. 37 kilometers west of Mentone. A third quake, this one a magnitude 3.0, was reported at 10:16 a.m. Mountain Time almost at the same spot as the first one (37 kilometers west of Mentone).

The epicenter of the earthquake. Photo taken from U.S. Geological Survey page.

“It’s certainly going to be noticeable. It could possibly cause a little bit of damage to unreinforced structures. You might see some cracks in masonry, concrete and brick, that kind of thing. The closer you would’ve been to it might you might have seen things on shelves shaking, maybe even falling off, but it wouldn’t have been much more than that,” said a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

Several El Pasoans, including KTSM staff members on duty, felt the tremor around 9:18 a.m. There was also a report in Far East El Paso.

“I felt my house sway as if there was an earthquake or at a minimum, tremors,” said Far East El Paso resident Marth Ballesteros.

And in Northeast El Paso,: “I live in the far northeast and my friends at Bliss said they felt it too,” added Tim Beckwith.

The shaking took Patricia Chacon by surprise in Central El Paso.

“I was working at my computer and felt an earthquake around 9:18 a.m.,” Chacon said. “My computer screens were moving, my chair, desk. I just got up and went outside trying to make sense of it. My house is made out of rock so it would most definitely not move easily.”

El Paso Fire Department reported no damage locally form the aftershocks. Juarez, Mexico Mayor Armando Cabada said no damages were reported in that city across the border from El Paso and urged people to remain calm.

However, government employees were evacuated from some buildings there after the 9:15 a.m. tremor.

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