Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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December 2, 2013

The earth moved under our feet

Earthquake rumbles north of Mineral Wells early Thanksgiving morning

By CLINT FOSTER

Earthquakes typically bring to mind the Pacific coast more so than North Texas, but tremors rattled two spots very close to Mineral Wells over the night, Thursday, before most locals had even woken up to baste their Thanksgiving turkeys.

The United States Geological Survey reported two earthquakes detected north of Mineral Wells in the wee hours of Thanksgiving morning.

The first, a 3.6-magnitude quake, was recorded at 1:58 a.m. about 10 miles north of the city.

The second registered approximately 15 miles northwest of Mineral Wells in Jack County with a magnitude of 2.8. There have been no reports of damage or injuries.

Brazos River Authority public information officer Judi Pierce said her office completed an inspection of the Possum Kingdom Lake Dam “first-thing” Thursday morning – per an internal policy that the BRA typically inspects the dam after any kind of quake within 60 miles.

Contrary to a report from another area newspaper, Pierce said the BRA is only required to inspect the dam if there is a 4.4-magnitude quake within 15 miles of the lake or a 5.0-or-higher quake within 12 miles, because of stipulations set by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

“We have seen no indication that there was any kind of shifting or cracking [in the dam],” Pierce told the Index. “It’s an abundance of caution for us. We’re expecting there may be more [earthquakes].”

The two local quakes are only the latest in a long line of North Texas Earthquakes this month. In all, 19 tremors have shaken area residents – from Richland Hills to the most recent movement 14 miles southwest of Jacksboro. The bulk of these quakes have been concentrated in the areas around Azle and Springtown. Mineral Wells’ 3.6 quake matched the strongest yet documented this month, with the other 3.6 occurring northwest of Azle, Nov. 19.

Although the 3.6 shocks are by no means the strongest earthquakes in Texas history, based on information from the USGS, they are certainly rare for this area.

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