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Dallas suburb reports minor damage from small earthquake and aftershock

By The Guardian
Sunday, September 30, 2012 13:19 EDT
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Earthquake via AFP
 
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A small earthquake followed by an aftershock hit a suburb west of Dallas overnight, causing minor damage.

Emergency officials said they had no indications of any injuries from Saturday’s late-night quake. The epicenter was near Dallas-Fort Worth airport, but was not large enough to affect flight operations.

The tremors caused cracks in walls and ceilings, and knocked down pictures, but authorities reported no serious damage.

The US Geological Survey’s national earthquake monitoring center in Golden, Colorado recorded a quake of preliminary magnitude of 3.4 at 11.05pm local time on Saturday, two miles north of the Dallas suburb of Irving.

USGS Geophysicist Randy Baldwin told the Associated Press from Colorado that the initial quake lasted several seconds and appeared strong enough to be felt up to 15 or 20 miles away.

He said the smaller aftershock with an estimated 3.1 magnitude occurred four minutes later and just a few miles away in another area west of Dallas.

Irving’s emergency operators were flooded with more than 400 calls after the initial quake as people reported such minor damage as cracks in some walls and a ceiling, pictures knocked down and a report of a possible gas leak, according to an emergency official, Pat McMacken. City officials said they were still following up on the various reports early Sunday.

Beverly Rangel, of New Haven Street in Irving, which was at the epicenter of the first quake told local TV station WFAA: “The table started shaking,” she said. “It’s a pretty heavy table for it to be shaking.”

Dallas-Fort Worth airport continued routine operations even though the shaking was felt at the airport partly located in Irving’s city limits, airport public affairs officer David Magaña said.

He told AP that the airport, which has 1,800 daily departures and arrivals, was in a quiet period with very little air traffic late Saturday night. Airport staff felt the quakes, he said. “I wouldn’t call it panic. I would call it surprise,” Magaña said.

The airport operations team immediately conducted a special inspection of the airfield, buildings and found nothing harmed by the quake. “We don’t have any damage to report. There were no impacts or [power] outages and no disruptions to flights,” Magaña said.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2012

 
 
 
 
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