EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)–According to the U.S. Geological Survey, El Paso felt an earthquake that happened about three hours East of the city in Mentone, Texas, which is just north of Pecos.
As KTSM reported, the USGS said it happened about 9:15 a.m. It was a 5.0 on Richter scale. There was also an earlier earthquake and an aftershock.
Over the past 10 years, UTEP Geological Professor Aaron Valasco says El Pasoans have felt earthquakes from nearby places but they usually aren’t as strong as the one on Thursday and many people have never even noticed them before.
Although what some may not know is that there is a fault line in El Paso. It’s located on the East side of the Franklin Mountains. According to Velasco, that fault has not produced an earthquake in recent history.
“Well there is a fault that’s called the East Franklin Mountains fault that runs on the East side of the Franklin Mountains that could generate a large earthquake,” Velasco said.
Velasco emphasizes that it could generate a large earthquake but it has a low probability.
As for today’s earthquake, that rattled El Paso from a town three hours away could be felt in different parts of the city. Although some people say they didn’t feel anything at all.
“The morning was pretty quiet my wife and I were sitting right where I am getting ready to eat our breakfast when we feel this little rumble on the floor,” Jose Ornelas said. “We looked over to the China cabinet and we have some glasses there and they, you know, kind of clicked a little bit and then II said you know what, were having an earthquake.”
Although startling — a 5.0 earthquake is considered a mild earthquake according to some experts– and being three hours away, it didn’t do much more than rattle some El Pasoans’ windows.
“We felt the waves that were generated by that earthquake but there was essentially no chance for damage given how far the earthquake was away and given the size,” Aaron Velasco, a UTEP geological science professor, said.
Velasco adds that wherever there are mountains, earthquakes are always a possibility.
Although today’s earthquake from Mentone was a first for some.
“This was the first time in all my years of remembering,” Velasco said.