No damages or injuries from 4.4 magnitude earthquake felt in Eddy County

A quiet Thursday night at home for Carlsbad resident Sarah Griffith was interrupted by shaking from an earthquake whose epicenter was in west Texas.

Griffith said she and her husband felt the shaking begin around 9:10 p.m. at their home near the Carlsbad Water Park.

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“We called our friends who live over by the (Carlsbad) High School, but they said they didn’t feel anything. Then I started keeping an eye out on Facebook and sure enough some posts started going up about it,” she said.

Griffith’s property did not suffer any damage from the 4.4 magnitude earthquake.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) noted the quake also impacted an isolated area some 30 miles south of Whites City around 9 p.m. Thursday.

A map of earthquakes reported in southeast New Mexico and West Texas between 2017 and October 2021.
A map of earthquakes reported in southeast New Mexico and West Texas between 2017 and October 2021.

City of Carlsbad Fire Chief Richard Lopez said his department did not receive any reports of injuries or damage within the city limits. No damage was reported in Eddy County, said Eddy County Fire and Rescue Chief Joshua Mack.

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A second 2.6 magnitude earthquake was reported by the USGS around 12:44 a.m. Friday near La Huerta. No damage or injuries were reported by emergency officials.

Thursday night’s earthquake was the strongest of 2022 in West Texas and Southeast New Mexico, read USGS data.

A 4.3 magnitude earthquake was reported March 4 and a 4.2 magnitude earthquake was reported Feb. 14, according to USGS activity.

Between Jan. 4 and March 24, six earthquakes with magnitudes from 3.6 to 3.9 were reported south of Whites City, per USGS.

So far in 2022, 115 earthquakes of various magnitudes were reported across southeast New Mexico and West Texas.

Some Texas and New Mexico government officials pointed to wastewater injections as the cause of increased seismic activity in the Permian Basin, an oil and gas production area. Oil and gas regulators in New Mexico and Texas developed guidelines for saltwater disposal wells (SWD’s) used to pump produced water, a liquid byproduct back underground as a means of disposal.

The New Mexico Department of Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources (EMNRD) Oil Conservation Division (OCD) published guidelines in response to increased earthquake activity along the New Mexico-Texas border in 2021.

Requirements for reporting seismic activity, potential impact of permitted wells, their location, volume, and established protocols for potentially reducing volumes of growing seismicity were tied to water injection.

More: Risk of earthquakes caused by oil and gas operations in New Mexico rising

The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) implemented a response plan to reduce injection volumes for magnitude earthquakes greater than 3.5 during an 18-month period in 2021 after suspending disposal well permits in northwest Midland County four earthquakes above a 3.0 magnitude were cited in the middle of December.

Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on Carlsbad Current-Argus: 4.4 magnitude earthquake rocks West Texas and Eddy County