A 4.4-magnitude earthquake centered near Dover, Delaware but could be felt for hundreds of miles along the East Coast.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) published a map showing the quake which was felt in Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut and New York.
Initial reports stated the earthquake was a 5.1 magnitude, but has since been downgraded to a 4.4.
According to the USGS, the epicenter was approximately six miles east-northeast of Dover and hit at 4:47 p.m with a depth of about five miles.
Could ‘Fracking’ be the Cause of the Delaware Earthquake?
Many have taken to social media to talk about the quake, and are blaming “fracking.”
According to BBC.com, fracking is defined as the following:
Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside.
Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well.
The process can be carried out vertically or, more commonly, by drilling horizontally to the rock layer and can create new pathways to release gas or can be used to extend existing channels.
The term fracking refers to how the rock is fractured apart by the high pressure mixture.
“@USGS could fracking have caused the earthquake in Delaware?,” @pathamm98 tweeted:
“Talk about the Delaware earthquake and the Fed policy on fracking,” @Clthames5 replied to a tweet by President Trump.
“The United States is in the midst of an unprecedented oil and gas drilling rush—brought on by a controversial technology called hydraulic fracturing, or FRACKING,” earthjustice.org posted to their website. “Along with this fracking-enabled rush have come troubling reports of poisoned drinking water, polluted air, mysterious animal deaths, industrial disasters and explosions. We call them FRACCIDENTS.”
“There is fracking in the Delaware river Basin, where the earthquake was centered, soooooooo,” @bearzig wrote:
In a reply to a tweet by CBS News regarding the quake,@jo_kasprzak wrote: “Well I have been hoping for an #Earthquake to open up a fissure under #GOP and swallow them. But did it shake under ? golf course in NJ? There was one in AK too. Maybe the Earth is sending @GOP a message from Sea to shining Sea We reject you. Stop Fracking Mother Earth.”
@YaleE360 said there is scientific proof that backs up the claim that an “increase in earthquake activity” in the United States is directly correlated with fracking:
“Using 450 million years of geologic records, scientists have concluded that an increase in earthquake activity in parts of the U.S. is directly tied to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking,” they tweeted: