EL PASO – A magnitude 5.2 earthquake shook West Texas early Wednesday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, with effects felt in El Paso.
The quake struck about 4:30 a.m. local time Wednesday at a depth of about 8 kilometers, about 57 miles southwest of Carlsbad, New Mexico, in the area between Pecos and El Paso, according to officials.
The predawn tremor woke some Borderland residents from their sleep.
“I wasn’t fully awake so I thought I was dreaming,” said Gilberto Rodriguez, 33, a construction worker in El Paso’s Lower Valley. “Then I saw the news. This is very unusual.”
But not everybody felt it.
“I was watching the news this morning, and I realized I must have been really tired,” said Leonardo Ramirez, 32, a contractor. “We don’t get quakes here, but this one was big, so I must have been exhausted.”
The earthquake comes almost exactly a year after a magnitude 5.4 earthquake shook the same area. West Texas has seen four earthquakes at a magnitude 5 or larger since 2020, said Justin Rubinstein, a USGS seismologist. The earthquakes are typically caused by the injection of fracking wastewater. Rubinstein said the injections likely caused Wednesday’s earthquake.
“I would say that it’s highly likely that this earthquake was induced as well,” he said. More than 20 aftershocks have occurred since Wednesday’s initial earthquake.
The National Weather Service in El Paso said effects were felt as far away as Saint Teresa, N.M., west of El Paso. No damage or injuries were immediately reported.