An Earthquake 190 Miles Away In New Mexico Felt Across The Border
On Thursday, September 1, at 10:23 am, the epicenter of a 4.6 magnitude earthquake originated 57 miles south of Carlsbad, Eddy County, New Mexico, making its way across the borderland.
Three weeks ago, a reported 4.6 magnitude earthquake originating 190 miles away in New Mexico was felt across El Paso and Juárez.
During that same time, El Servicio Sismológico Nacional (National Seismological Service, a seismological organization in Mexico that studies and records earthquake activity within the country) reported a 4.9 magnitude earthquake 175 km east of Ciudad Juárez, México.
That morning friends of mine working at the Annex and Thomason Tower buildings at UMC felt their workstations sway while relatives in Juarez phoned asking if we had felt the minor quake too. So yes, if you were ever in doubt, El Paso does experience earthquakes, all be it very faint ones.
According to museum2.utep.edu, on average, an earthquake in the 3.0 to 4.0 magnitude occurs in El Paso every ten years. The last quake of these types of earthquakes happened on December 8, 1972, when a magnitude of 3.0 struck Northeast El Paso.
It turns out that there are many active fault lines in the El Paso area, especially on the east side of the Franklin Mountains, which runs along Transmountain and Alabama Street near NE El Paso.
That same fault is so significant it extends from southern New Mexico, south through Texas along the Franklin Mountains, and across the Rio Grande along the southeast margin of the Sierra de Juarez in Chihuahua, Mexico.
And it seems that the East Franklin Mountain fault line is active as the Franklin Mountains continue to rise while the Hueco Bolson sinks, indicating a potential earthquake hazard sometime in the future.
According to the US Geological Survey, if the East Franklin Mountain Fault were to slip, it could potentially trigger a 6.0 or larger magnitude earthquake in our area.
However, we shouldn't be too stressed over a massive earthquake happening anytime soon because geological evidence shows that a major quake occurs along the Franklin Mountains every 5000 years, give or take a few years.
So while we may not see a devastating earthquake like the one that struck Mexico recently, it's always wise to have a preparedness kit that includes essential survival supplies if possible because you never know what Mother Nature has in store for us.