Published January 13, 2015
Several minor earthquakes gave some Texas and Oklahoma residents an early Halloween scare, but no injuries or damage were reported.
A 2.5-magnitude quake at 11:25 p.m. Thursday near Grand Prairie started a series of other small earthquakes in that Dallas suburb, followed by a 3.0-magnitude quake at 12:01 a.m. Friday in nearby Irving, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Irving police received 911 calls from about 25 people saying they had felt the quakes, but there were no reports of injuries or damage, Officer David Tull said Friday morning.
A 3.1 quake was reported about 11:30 a.m. Thursday near McCloud, Okla., some 180 miles north of the Dallas area, with no reports of injuries or damage, according to the USGS.
Although researchers are not sure if a fault line runs along that area, they consider the earthquakes in the two states to be separate events because they occurred so far apart in distance and time, said USGS geophysicist Jessica Sigala.
"Texas sees earthquakes every once in awhile, so it's very new to us even," Sigala said. "We hope we'll figure out exactly where and why this happened. East of the Rocky Mountains, fault lines are hard to distinguish because earthquakes don't happen as often."
The U.S. Geological Survey has been able to determine fault lines — such as the San Andreas Fault in California, the most quake-prone state in the continental U.S. — usually after earthquakes occur, Sigala said.
Although Texas is better known for its hurricanes and tornados, some earthquakes have shaken the state since the late 1800s, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The most recent quake in Texas was in April, shaking a city south of San Antonio with a 3.7 magnitude.
Seven minor earthquakes were recorded in Amarillo in 2000, and another minor one hit that Panhandle city in 2002.