East Texas Rocked Again By Weekend Quake

on May 21 2012 10:55 AM

East Texas has again been hit by an earthquake in a region that has seen a small rash of quakes in the past year.

Another earthquake, this time a 2.7-magnitude tremor at a depth of three miles, struck just two miles south of the town of Timpson on Sunday, said the U.S. Geological Survey.

There are no reports of injuries or damage, the town's secretary said.

Tucked away not far from the Louisiana border, the town has been rocked three times in the past week, and now six times since last summer.

The town is located in a part of the state where natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing takes place, and Larry Burns, the town's emergency coordinator, said several natural gas waste water injection wells are within miles of the town.

Waste water injection wells, which serve to dispose of toxic hydraulic fracturing, oil and natural gas, flowback water have been linked to a series of earthquakes throughout the country, and England.

The Texas Rail Road Commission, the state's oil and natural gas regulator previously said the region's injection wells are not to blame, and met their permit standards, but town's people are not convinced.

It is yet unclear if indeed the area's waste water injection wells are causing the tremors. The USGS says it is impossible to tell one natural quake from another man-induced quake because their shock waves are the same.

Geophysicists with the geological survey said East Texas is known to have active but infrequent earthquakes.

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