City of Irving Earthquake Information
As you may be aware, Irving has experienced a series of minor tremors, a relatively new phenomenon in this area. In January, Southern Methodist University seismologists deployed seismometers, sophisticated instruments that capture very detailed information. SMU’s data suggests the tremors are occurring along a focused pattern, east and north of the University of Dallas. The majority of the tremors they studied occurred in Dallas; however, they could be felt in Irving. These tremors have not exceeded a magnitude of 3.6, which scientists consider minor. Experts currently do not know the cause of these quakes and are hesitant to speculate. Community speculation suggests fracking and drilling. There is currently no fracking in Irving and no active drilling sites in all of Dallas County. Additionally, there have never been any waste water drilling or injection wells in Irving.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS), national experts on earthquakes, say:
- Millions of earthquakes occur around the world every year and the vast majority are minor.
- The International Residential Code regulates most construction in the United States. Its map lists seven seismic risk levels. North Texas is listed at the lowest risk level for seismic activity.
- Seismologists began measuring earthquakes in North Texas in 2008.
- There is a very low probability that a significant earthquake will strike the North Texas region.
City of Irving Response
- The city is in close contact with legislators, resources and associations at the state level and has formed a working group with Dallas, Coppell and state and federal agency representatives to coordinate a regional response and to educate and protect the community.
- Additionally, Irving is working with Dallas County officials on emergency management protocols.
- The city is very involved with legislative representatives regarding state legislation including support of a bill requiring the state to produce a study on the frequency and causes of seismic activity in Texas. They also support an initiative to give the University of Texas at Austin’s Bureau of Economic Geology $2.5 million for equipment and manpower to study earthquake activity.
Earthquake Safety Tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency
We don’t believe there is any reason for concern; however, as host to thousands of visitors, we want be sure our city’s guests feel safe and are prepared in the unlikely event of a more substantial quake. Please see below for tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. More information can be found online at cityofirving.org/earthquakes.
- If you’re in a high-rise building, get under -- and hold onto --a desk or table or stand against an interior wall. Protect your head and neck with your arms. Do not use the elevators.
- If you’re outside, move to a clear, open area away from trees, signs, buildings, or downed electrical wires and poles.
- If you’re on a sidewalk near buildings, duck into a doorway to protect yourself from falling bricks, glass, plaster and other debris.
- If you’re driving, pull over to the side of the road and stop. Avoid overpasses and power lines. Stay inside your vehicle until the shaking stops.
- If you’re in a crowded store or other public place, move away from display shelves containing objects that could fall. Protect your head and neck with your arms. Do not rush for the exit.
- If you’re in a stadium or theater, stay in your seat, get below the level of the back of the seat and cover your head and neck with your arms.