A 5.0 magnitude earthquake rattled West Texas on Thursday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
The quake epicenter was about 27 miles west of Mentone, Texas, and was located 3 miles below the surface. It hit at 10:16 a.m CDT.
Residents of El Paso, about 175 miles west of the reported epicenter, felt the quake, which was originally rated at 4.7 magnitude.
The El Paso region isn’t accustomed to being rattled by earthquakes, and incredulous residents wondered aloud on social media about what they had just felt.
“Did we just have a small scale #earthquake in #ElPaso? Who else felt it?” said El Pasoan Gera Alvarez, a former University of Texas–El Paso goalkeeper soccer coach.
Clint, Texas, resident Guillermina Estrada said she felt her bed sway. “It felt like the vibration of a train when it passes, but bigger,” she said.
At least five smaller earthquakes had been registered near Mentone, Texas, over the last four days.
The U.S. Geological Survey said “earthquakes east of the Rocky Mountains, although less frequent than in the West, are typically felt over a much broader region than earthquakes of similar magnitude in the west.”
In addition, few earthquakes east of the Rockies have been definitely linked to mapped geologic faults, in contrast to the situation at plate boundaries such as California’s San Andreas fault system, the USGS said.
A 5.7 magnitude quake hit the Salt Lake City, Utah, area earlier this month, damaging buildings but causing no injuries or fatalities.
Contributing: Lauren Villagran, the El Paso Times