January 7, 2015

Shaking

Earthquakes are the new thing in my neck of the woods.  My friend in Oklahoma City frequently mentions a little tremblor.  We felt our first one back in 2011, and I can't recall another one since.  All around my town, though, there have been more and more reports of earthquakes.

Yesterday, sitting in line waiting to pick up my kids, the afternoon deejays were freaking out, claiming that they had just felt an earthquake in downtown Dallas.  Their studio was on the tenth floor of a high-rise building, and they were a little concerned.

That earthquake led to several more:
North Texas has been rattled by 11 earthquakes in just over one day. The latest one took place just before 10:00 a.m. and measured 2.7 in magnitude. Another quake about 90 minutes earlier registered in at a 2.6 in magnitude.
There have been 12 total small earthquakes in the DFW area so far this year, all centered around the old Texas Stadium site in Irving.
There is a ghost-of-Tom-Landry joke to be made, but that isn't where I intended to go with this.

The 3:10 pm earthquake that scared the radio folks was notable, and followed by another slightly stronger one:
7:37 a.m. Tuesday                    2.3 magnitude
3:10 p.m. Tuesday                    3.5 magnitude
6:52 p.m. Tuesday                    3.6 magnitude
8:11 p.m. Tuesday                     2.9 magnitude
8:12 p.m. Tuesday                    2.7 magnitude
9:54 p.m. Tuesday                    1.7 magnitude
10:05 p.m. Tuesday                  2.4 magnitude
11:02 p.m. Tuesday                   1.6 magnitude
12:59 a.m. Wednesday             3.1 magnitude
8:34 a.m. Wednesday               2.6 magnitude
9:57 a.m. Wednesday               2.7 magnitude
Earthquakes in Oklahoma and Texas have been blamed on oil and gas drilling and the fracturing processes associated.  That isn't where I intended to go either, but the cause will most certainly be a factor, should this pattern continue.

What I am most worried about today, is living in an area in which none of the structures are built to withstand earthquakes of any magnitude.  And, as such, none of the insurance policies issued for structures include coverage for damage caused by earthquakes.  I don't want to be at the top of Reunion Tower, or driving on the High Five when a stronger quake hits.  

The cynic in me thinks that insurers will (if they haven't already) begin to map and track earthquakes, and then use that information to deny coverage for other things.  There is also the likelihood of an industry of opportunistic construction and foundation businesses that will begin to sell hapless consumers on some manner of supposed earthquake-proofing for their homes.

I know that we are supposed to do everything "bigger" in Texas, but I don't think earthquakes should be included.

3 comments:

Titan Mk6B said...

If you look at a map of where the earthquakes happen in Oklahoma you will notice that while there is drilling for oil in that area most of the wells are shallow. Much shallower than the depth of the quakes. The area with the deepest wells in the central to western part of the state don't have any earthquakes. Kind of puts the "drilling causes earthquakes" thing to rest in my mind.

InsomniacSeeker said...

I think you may have set a record for the most in a day. I think at most we've had in a day is 6. I don't believe all that "fracking" nonsense. We sit on a fault line. If you ever go to the Wichita Mountains near Lawton/Ft. Sill, OK, you can go to the Meers Store and actually see the fault line in the rock formations.

Hope you don't start having a daily occurrence of them. :)

Harper said...

There are no wells around the Texas Stadium site, so the tree huggers have been eerily silent. Of course, they like to blame any- and everything we do to the environment as a potential cause. As I get older, I find that I am coming to accept that there are some things in life that we will just never have the answers for. And I am more and more annoyed by the types of people that insist on having an answer for everything.