Written by Phil Cerroni
By Alice Canham
The rumblings were felt on Twitter and Facebook, if not in your home. Irving experienced three minor earthquakes in the past week.
Two were reported on the evening of Sep. 29 (with magnitudes measured at 3.4 and 3.1), and one, measuring 2.1, on Sep. 30.
Irving City Councilman Gerald Faris lives near the Hospital District where he felt the tremors.
“I was listening to music in the living room, and for once, I was wearing headphones,” said Faris. “Then I heard this rumbling that just about knocked me out of the couch. I could feel the wall shaking behind me.
“I immediately headed out the front door with my wife because we wanted to survey the skies and see if some type of fire or explosion had occurred. And all of our neighbors were outside, and we all exchanged ideas about it.
“The immediate thing that came to mind was an earthquake. When we turned on the TV, they verified that’s what it was. The next day, there was a story about all the calls to 9-1-1.
“We’d never experienced an earthquake before.”
They’re certainly not a common occurrence according to the insurance company that provides coverage for approximately 1.3 million policyholders in Texas; one in every five homes.
“The area has not experienced any seismic activity in any recent times,” said State Farm spokesman Gary Stephenson “There are no major faults in the area, so it’s unusual.
“I haven’t received any claims with damage reported from this activity yet.”
Those in the insurance field remain alert to any perceived threats. So what about the concern that these earthquakes may be manmade in origin…possibly the result of drilling activities?
“There are always studies and discussions going on,” Stephenson said. “The science on that is a work in progress. I’m not aware of any conclusions that have been drawn.
“Of course, drilling has gone on in Texas for a long time. Still, it’s a matter under review, but we have seen no correlations at this time.”
Meanwhile, there’s been a small uptick in questions from policyholders who are considering the addition of earthquake coverage, according to Stephenson.
“It’s not a standard part of homeowners policies,” he said, “but it can be added fairly inexpensively. Pennies on the square foot.
“But an earthquake… doesn’t appear to be an imminent threat, although we don’t have a good way of predicting it.”