The U.S. Geological Survey reported two of the strongest earthquakes happened in far West Texas on Wednesday morning.

According to the Midland Reporter-Telegram, the two earthquakes hit within an hour of each other, the first one at 10:01 am with a 4.4 magnitude and then another hit several miles away at 10:46 am registering at a 4.5 magnitude.

Both earthquakes were located near Mentone, TX in Loving County, most of the earthquakes in the past few years have happened in that area and eight of the 16 strongest quakes to hit Texas have happened in that area also.

The website registered the first quake 21 miles north-northwest of Toyah, TX with a depth of 6.1 miles. The second quake was 33 miles south-southwest of Whites City, NM with a depth of 1.86 miles. also reported on Wednesday that 35 earthquakes happened in the area in the past week, 156 quakes in the past 30 days, and 2,089 quakes in the past 365 days.

The strongest earthquake in Texas history happened on August 16, 1931, near Alpine with a magnitude of 6.5. The strongest of the past several years since earthquakes have become more frequent was a 5.0 magnitude near Mentone on March 26, 2020, which is the only 5.0 or greater magnitude quake registered in the state in the last 25 years.

Permian Basin oil and gas operators and the Texas Railroad Commission have been meeting and trying to address the growing rate of seismic activity in the area.

The commission has developed the Northern Culberson-Reeves Seismic Response Area with the goal of reducing the intensity and frequency and eliminating 3.5 or greater magnitude earthquakes by the end of 2023.

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