Four Earthquakes In Five Days In Chihuahua, Mexico Felt Across The Borderland

El Paso, Texas - Did you feel it? An earthquake shook the Borderland, not once but twice Monday morning.

Both epicenters were just 85 miles southeast of El Paso.

The first quake, a 4.3 magnitude temblor, happened at 5:43 a.m. The second, a 4.4, followed about two hours later.

Residents from east and west El Paso said they felt the quake.

"I felt it when I was asleep too and woke up because my bed was shaking," said Hilda Gonzalez.

"It was felt here in San Eli," Daniel Herrera wrote on KVIA's Facebook page. "My dog did not appreciate the little rumble at all."

Local seismologist and UTEP geology professor Diane Doser wasn't surprised by the event.

"We have earthquakes that are felt about every 10 years," said Doser. "We've had kind of a long spell without feeling an earthquake, so I guess it's overdue that we would feel one here."

A common misconception is that El Paso lies on a fault line like those responsible for earthquakes in California or Japan. Instead, the city lies in an area called the Rio Grande rift. A rift, which is not a fault line, is an area where earth's crust is slowly being pulled apart.

Doser said the frequency of the earthquakes is unusual. There have been four earthquakes measured over 4.0 in just five days.

Scientists refer to these groups of events as ''swarms'' since they tend to have the same magnitude and originate from the same location.

The last time the area saw a swarm of earthquakes was back in the 1960s when multiple quakes with similar magnitudes struck the area. The strongest in the group measured 5.3.

"The earthquakes went on for about four months," said Doser. "So, it is possible that we'll have some more and they might be felt here."

No serious damage was reported in the area from the event. Typically, only earthquakes with a magnitude 5.0 or greater can cause damage to structures.

Generally, people can feel earthquakes with a magnitude of 3.0 or greater. Since the epicenter of this quake was located more than 80 miles away, Doser said it would take at least a 4.0 to feel it in El Paso.

In order to better predict earthquakes and how they will affect the area, scientists like Doser ask that you report any earthquakes to the United States Geological Survey Did You Feel It website.

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