Thursday, May 17, 2012

Shake, Rattle n Roll - Earthquakes in East Texas

I've had the pleasure of experiencing mild earthquakes in both California and Japan, but never considered Texas a hotbed of seismic activity. Today, I'm having a good think about that because we experienced our second earthquake in less than a week last night.


by bugdog
The first one hit this past Thursday and was a 3.9 on the Richter Scale. It was centered down around Timpson - about fifteen miles from us as the buzzard flies - and we didn't even notice that one. Last night's occurred a little after 3:00 a.m., and shook the house. What a way to wake up! This quake was also centered near Timpson, and registered a 4.3.



Neither quake caused injuries or much damage, thankfully. Our house is intact and the well hasn't run dry. The cows were their usual ravenous selves this morning, undisturbed by the night's festivities. The humans, however, were a tad disturbed to wake up in a house rocking on its slab.

Signs and wonders, some say. Good ol' oil and gas company fracking, say others. Fodder for the crime-writerly brain, I say! After being so rudely shaken, I lay awake for a while, 'opportunities' flooding the neurons. What if:

    by Renaudeh
  • ...an empty house collapsed during an earthquake, and the police found a body inside? One that had already started to decay...

  • ...a quake caused a gas pipeline to blow and an oilfield worker found body parts scattered around the blast site? Body parts with cut marks indicating that they'd already been severed from the body...

  • ...an earthquake causes a crack in a pond on land owned by a respectable old farmer, and as the water drains, a body wrapped in chains is revealed?

Lots of food for book ideas coming out of last night's shakin. Some of them might even make it into a Forney County novel. But I do hope we're done with earthquakes around here for a good long while...