Earthquake in the Valley? What are the Odds?

Thursday, August 25, 2011 - 9:26am

The earthquake in Virginia came as a surprise to many.

“I have lived here all my life and I have never experience an earthquake,” said one Virginia native.

Most Rio Grande Valley residents haven’t either, but could an earthquake really hit the Valley?

“There are earthquakes in Texas every year,” says Assistant Professor of Geology at UTB Elizabeth Heise.

Fortunately these Texas earthquakes tend to happen further north.

“Usually out in the Midland and Odessa area is the most common place for earthquakes in Texas,” says Heise.

The closest area where an earthquake could happen in relation to the Valley is in San Antonio, which is located on several fault lines.

“Wherever the fault and the release of energy is the closer you are the more shaking you are going to feel,” says Heise.

Given the Valley’s distance from fault lines a large earthquake would barely be noticeable.

“People in New York said they could feel the Virginia earthquake as far away as three hundred miles,” says Heise. “If a large earthquake were to happen in San Antonio we may feel something but it is nothing that is going to be damaging.”

Still, safety is very important when dealing with an earthquake.

“If you are in an earthquake you should go and stand in a doorway because it has the most support of any part of the structure,” says Heise. “Don't go outside because glass and bricks can fall on you.”

Hopefully it will be advice Valley citizens never have to use.

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