Largest earthquake fault line in El Paso city limits

Local News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) On the east side of the Franklin Mountains an earthquake fault line can be seen. It’s called the East Franklin Mountain Fault.

East Franklin Mountain Fault Courtesy of Dr. Jose Hurtado.

Many people stop at Transmountain lookouts not even knowing they are looking at the largest earthquake fault line inside the El Paso City Limits according to UTEP Geological Professor Aaron Velasco.

“A fault that could potentially slip in modern times. The last time it probably slipped was 10 thousand, 12 thousand years ago” said Velasco.

The fault runs along the east side of the Franklins. Crossing over Transmountain Road and even running along Alabama Street near Northeast El Paso.

East Franklin Mountain Fault Courtesy of Dr. Jose Hurtado.

“Alabama Street runs along the fault. I’m sure they were unaware of the fault when that was built but it is there and if it were to actually move it could physically displace Alabama,” said Velasco.

Something some Alabama Street homeowners were unaware of.

“I’m not going to lose any sleep over it because I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon again but it’s possible so who knows,” said Richard Chavez who lives on Alabama Street.

Professor Velasco says its true experts can not predict when an earthquake will happen.

“The probability it is a very low probability but if it were to happen it would be a high impact earthquake,” said Velasco.

According to the US Geological Survey, if the East Franklin Mountain Fault was to slip, it has the potential for a 6.0 or larger magnitude earthquake.

Professor Velasco says El Pasoans shouldn’t be scared. However, you should be prepared and have a plan with your family of what to do if the fault line were to slip and create a potentially large magnitude earthquake.

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