The larger quake followed a tremor registering at a magnitude of 3.0 earlier on Thursday morning

By Georgia Slater
March 27, 2020 09:04 AM
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A 5.0 magnitude earthquake shook a remote region of West Texas on Thursday morning.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the tremor rattled an area between El Paso and Odessa, with stronger shakes felt closer to the epicenter of the quake.

The epicenter occurred about 26 miles west of the rural town Mentone, near the line between Mountain and Central time zones.

El Paso was first struck with the earthquake at 9:16 a.m. and Odessa, an hour later, at 10:16 a.m., according to CNN.

Only light tremors were reported in both cities, the USGS reported.

According to ABC News, six hours before the 5.0 earthquake, a tremor with a magnitude of 3.0 was also felt in the area.

No injuries or major damage was reported in El Paso, according to the El Paso Times reported via a USGS emergency alert.

At the time of the quake, a call center for El Paso’s 24-hour service hotline was forced to temporarily evacuate.

“Calls will still be answered by the network but the local specialists are offline,” the city of El Paso tweeted Thursday.

As earthquakes don’t happen frequently in the El Paso area, several residents shared their confusion on social media.

“Once in a lifetime experience, an earthquake in El Paso!! I slept through it,” one user wrote, while another questioned, “An earthquake in El Paso?!?!! Yep we all doomed.”

One person shared, “I never thought I would get to report on an earthquake in El Paso/ Las Cruces, but here 2020 comes with more surprises. Can we throw this year away yet??”