Earthquake Hits Texas near Eagle Pass as State Struggles with Winter Storm

Texas has been hit by a 3.4. magnitude earthquake near to the border with Mexico.

There were no reports of injuries or structural damage caused by the quake, which hit at around 1:30 a.m. CST on Thursday, according to the United States Geological Survey.

Preliminary data suggested the quake was located around 8.8 miles underground. The VolcanoDiscovery website said this depth is relatively shallow, and shallow quakes tend to be felt more strongly than deeper ones.

Earthquakes of this magnitude are often strong enough to be felt, but any damage caused is likely to be minor, according to Michigan Technological University.

The earthquake hit near locations including Eagle Pass, which has a population of nearly 30,000 and is around 20 miles north-northeast of the epicenter, according to the USGS.

Other nearby towns included Mexico's Piedras Negreas, which has a population of around 150,000 and is roughly 20 miles away from the epicenter, and Texas' Eidson Road with a population of around 8,960.

At the time of writing, three users of VolcanoDiscovery's earthquake report service said they felt it.

One, who said they were based in El Indio, Texas, roughly 3.8 miles north east of the epicenter, said they felt "light shaking" that lasted just one to two seconds.

They wrote: "I was sitting in my truck and felt as if someone had jumped in the bed of the truck or moved the truck side to side."

Another, who also said they were in El Indio, wrote: "Was sleeping and felt the bed shake [and] a thing fell from a desk to the floor."

The quake hit as Texas struggles with a brutal winter storm that has knocked out power and clean water for millions.

Keaton Fox, a journalist for ABC13 Houston, tweeted: "And because Texas can't catch a break, there was a 3.4M earthquake yesterday along the Texas border in Maverick County."

And because Texas can't catch a break:

There was a 3.4M earthquake yesterday along the Texas border in Maverick County. https://t.co/RXxQdjFhoq

— Keaton Fox (@keatonfox) February 18, 2021

The USGS said most earthquakes that happen east of the Rockies in North America occur as a result of fractures within bedrock, usually miles underground.

Only a few earthquakes east of the Rockies have been linked to such fractures that have been mapped.

It is a different situation near to known plate boundaries such as California's San Andreas fault system, where scientists use methods to identify faults that have resulted in big quakes and could do so again in future.

Seismology wave
A stock photo shows a finger pointing to a seismograph. Earthquake trackers have put the Texas quake at around 3.4M Cylonphoto/iStock