USGS confirms 2.4 magnitude earthquake in Ellis County

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by MARJORIE OWENS and CARLA WADE

Bio | Email | Follow: @CarlaNWade

WFAA

Posted on October 16, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 16 at 5:27 PM

2.4 magnitude earthquake

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OVILLA — A 2.4 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter just west of Ovilla spurred calls to police of rumblings and an "explosive" sound Wednesday morning in Cedar Hill.

In a preliminary report issued Wednesday morning by the USGS, the earthquake was clocked at 7:37 a.m.

WFAA engineers said they heard a loud boom while working on a transmitter in Cedar Hill at about that time. Police in Cedar Hill said they also received calls from area residents reporting the sound and shaking of the ground.

Whether or not earthquakes make noise is a topic even scientists debate, but the USGS website says it's possible and common. What people likely heard around town was actually the shifting of large rocks underground -- a booming noise is often reported during small, shallow quakes.

"I'm in Cedar Hill and I heard it," wrote Rachel A. Hurst on Facebook. "Went outside to look around but saw nothing. Weird."

However, another in the area said it wasn't enough to wake her from her slumber.

"I live in Cedar Hill and slept right through it!" wrote Mary Beth Murchison.

A spokesperson for the city of Cedar Hill said after the quake, the public works department checked water and gas lines. Buildings were also inspected. No damage was found, but it was still the talk of the town throughout the day.

The 2.4 magnitude tremor was small, but it reminded some people of a big event that rocked North Texas earlier this year.

"I heard a big boom and felt everything shake," said Vince Hood who was at his Cedar Hill office. "It kind of reminded me of when the fertilizer plant in West blew up. We felt that in Ennis."

Those looking for more details on the USGS website will find only a note that reads: "Due to the Federal government shutdown, usgs.gov and most associated web sites are unavailable."

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