Four earthquakes rattle Texas in less than 24 hours, geologists say

In just over 12 hours, Texas experienced not one earthquake, but four, experts say.

Three quakes were centered near the town of Snyder — just south of the Texas panhandle — with a fourth centered near the Fort Worth area, according to the United States Geological Survey. The first and strongest of the cluster hit just after 4:45 p.m. Monday about 12 miles north of Snyder and measured magnitude 4.0.

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Scurry County Sheriff’s Department officials told the Houston Chronicle they hadn’t received any reports of damage, but residents near Snyder did report some light shaking, according to the USGS.

The quake is the strongest recorded in Texas this year, according to the Chronicle.

The next temblor — a magnitude 3.8 — came around 2:15 a.m. Tuesday, also near Snyder, the USGS says.

The third followed around 3:20 a.m. nearly 250 miles away in Lillian — just south of Fort Worth — and measured a magnitude 3.2, the USGS says. Light to moderate shaking was reported.

The final quake — a magnitude 2.5 — was the third to shake near Snyder and hit around 5:20 a.m. Tuesday, the USGS says.

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The Balcones Fault Zone cuts across Texas from southwest to northeast encapsulating San Antonio, Austin and Dallas, according to a map from the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas.

In a 2011 interview with KUT, seismologist Cliff Frohlich said he believed a high-magnitude quake in Central Texas would be unlikely.

“I don’t think you could have an earthquake bigger than 4.0 or 4.5 in Central Texas,” he said. “But I could be wrong.”

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Dawson covers goings-on across the central region, from breaking to bizarre. She is an MSt candidate at the University of Cambridge and lives in Kansas City.