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Azle City Leaders Call For State Investigation Of Earthquakes

AZLE (CBS 11 NEWS) - More earthquakes are rattling the residents in the town of Azle. Just this morning a 3.0-magnitude quake was registered at 8:24 a.m.

This makes more than a dozen earthquakes registering between 2.0 and 3.6-magnitude in the last few weeks for the small town of 11,000, and residents are growing concerned.

City leaders are now calling on their state legislators to have geologists investigate the cause.

Ed Tavender lives on the shore of Eagle Mountain Lake.  A resident here for 50 years, he experienced his first earthquake just a few days ago.

"I was a volunteer fire fighter for 12 years. I'm used to getting up at night, but I'm not used to being shaken out of bed in the middle of the night," Tavender said.

Mayor Alan Brundrett and Assistant City Manager Lawrence Bryant felt a quake a week ago, during a city council meeting.

"Obviously the citizens are concerned. They should be," said Bryant.

So many people have called city hall, these city officials have downloaded 'quake alert' apps on their smart phones so they can verify the reports to residents.

"If it's a man-made cause, it would be nice to know," said Bryant.

Geophysicists at the U.S. Geological Survey say the earthquakes so far are not strong enough to cause significant structural damage, but scientists say there's no way to know if a stronger one will follow.

A U.T. Austin professor is currently studying the correlation between this seismic activity and the drilling of waste water injection and disposal wells.

There are 15 of these wells in Parker County alone.

Dr. Ken Morgan with TCU's Energy Institute told CBS11 last week, that he thinks the injection wells might be the cause as well.

A spokesperson for the Texas Railroad Commission, which issues the permits, says their staff has not identified a significant correlation between faulting and injection practices.

"Not knowing what's next. The 3.3, 3.6 tremors that make the house shake - I think we can live with that. Is it going to go up to a 4, 5, 6, to where we actually have devastation and destruction? That's what's concerning," said Tavender.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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