2 minor earthquakes shake North Texas communities

Posted Sunday, Sep. 30, 2012  comments  Print Reprints

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Two minor earthquakes shook North Texas Saturday night and residents may feel a few aftershocks in the next few days, a geophysicist said Sunday.

No major damage or injuries were reported.

The first minor earthquake measuring a preliminary 3.4 magnitude rattled the community of Irving, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake struck at 11:05 p.m. Saturday and was centered about 2 miles north of Irving, the survey's national earthquake monitoring center in Golden, Colo., reported.

That quake lasted several seconds and was strong enough to have been felt near the epicenter and possibly as far as 15 or 20 miles away.

"If someone was inside a home and close to the epicenter, there could have been things falling off shelves," geophysicist Don Blakeman said in a telephone interview Sunday from Colorado.

Generally, depending on soil, structures and how close a building is to an epicenter, serious damage could occur at magnitude 4.5 or higher, Blakeman said. Injuries might be reported after a 5.0 magnitude quake.

Within a couple of minutes, a second earthquake with a preliminary 3.1 magnitude shook North Texas about seven miles west of Dallas, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

"That was probably more an aftershock," Blakeman said. "There could be swarms of quakes later that are much smaller." The preliminary magnitudes of the earthquakes could be revised up or down once further data is obtained, officials said.

North Texas has been rattled by a number of minor quakes since 2008.

This report includes information from The Associated Press.

Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763

Twitter: @mingoramirezjr

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