El Paso shakes, experts remind residents to prepare for earthquakes

Sunday, June 29, 2014 - 9:58pm

The rippling effects of a 5.2 earthquake are felt right here in El Paso. Earthquakes are rare in the Sun City, so are we well prepared if one hits. From as far West as Phoenix, Arizona to right here in El Paso. A lot of people say they felt that trembler. The quake didn’t cause any damage or injuries but seismologists want to make Borderland residents aware, earthquakes can and will happen. Just think of Saturday night as mother nature’s gentle reminder.
You may have felt it but maybe you didn’t realize what it was, "It felt like a train was passing by is what I originally but then there was no sound of a train,” Arthur Perez, a Lower Valley resident who felt Saturday night’s earthquake at the Chihuahua’s game said.

"Usually when you feel something kind of shake, it's the train coming by but this felt like it swayed more,” Brad Taylor, the Manager of the El Paso Chihuahua’s explained.

A 5.2 earthquake shook the Southwest around 11 Saturday night. Its epicenter, Lordsburg, New Mexico, just a two and a half hour drive from El Paso. "I was more shocked more than anything, I didn't even know it was an earthquake,” Perez said.

While surprising for many, a seismologist with UTEP said El Pasoans should expect the unexpected

"And we have an active fault here, the East Franklin Mountains Fault that runs along the Franklin mountains, it's what forms the Franklin mountains,” Aaron Velasco, a Seismologist Professor with UTEP said. "We live in the Rio Grande rift and that's an area that's splitting apart."

Earthquakes can be difficult to predict and many were unsure of how to protect themselves in the event of an earthquake, "I mean I learned from watching TV and from sitcoms,” Perez said.

"Um. NO. Just protect my children… call around?,” Nancy Sanchez, a Far East El Pasoan explained.

So we need to be prepared if and when one hits. "Natural disasters do happen and we need to be prepared a little more than we are,” Velasco said.

So if you're outside stay outside, and if you're indoors, stay indoors. Get underneath something sturdy like a desk or a table and hold on.

"And don't panic. That's the number one thing. Just try to find space where nothing will fall on you,” the Seismologist said.


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