Powerful Earthquake Rattles Parts of West Texas

Multiple aftershocks were recorded near the epicenter

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A powerful magnitude 5.4 earthquake shook West Texas Wednesday afternoon, according to the United States Geological Survey.

The earthquake was detected shortly after 3:30 p.m. near the Loving County community of Mentone, about 35 miles northwest of Pecos, at a depth of about 5 miles.

It was first recorded by the USGS as a 5.3 and later updated to a magnitude 5.4, according to its online tracker.

The intensity of the quake was rated as MMI VII, indicating very strong shaking that could be felt by everyone, including those sleeping, and chimneys could be damaged by the movement.

Within hours, several aftershocks were detected near the epicenter of the quake with magnitudes ranging from 2.6 to as strong as 3.8.

Jim DeBerry, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Midland, told The Associated Press that the strength of the quake means it likely caused damage in the remote oil patch and scrubland, but none had been reported so far.

State Rep. Eddie Morales, Jr., whose district includes Mentone, said he spoke with local authorities and there were no reported injuries. He said on Twitter that state officials will be “inspecting roads, bridges and other infrastructure as a precaution.”

DeBerry said there were reports of people feeling vibrations from the quake 200 miles west in the border city of Ciudad Juárez and as far south as Terlingua, a small community near the Rio Grande and Big Bend National Park.

It is the third-strongest earthquake ever to strike Texas, and the strongest since 1995, local NBC station KWES-TV reported. The largest earthquake ever recorded in Texas occurred in the Big Bend area, near Valentine, where a 5.8-magnitude quake was recorded in 1931.

Contact Us