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Moderate 5.3 magnitude earthquake recorded in sparsely populated West Texas county

regional

MENTONE, Texas (AP) — An earthquake struck a sparsely populated and remote area of West Texas on Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported, and the temblor could be felt hundreds of miles away.

The USGS reports the 5.3 magnitude quake shook Loving County, on the border with New Mexico, shortly before 4:30 a.m. about 23 miles (37 kilometers) southwest of the unincorporated town of Mentone.

A 5.3 magnitude earthquake is considered a moderate temblor that can damage buildings, according to the USGS. However, no damage or injury was reported. A message left with the county sheriff’s office Wednesday was not returned.

The Census Bureau reports that Loving County, one of the least populated counties in the U.S., had an estimated population of 51 in 2022 and Mentone has a population of about 10.

Reports to the USGS said the earthquake was felt as far away as Ferris, Texas, some 437 miles (703 kilometers) east of Mentone in the Dallas area.

The earthquake was followed by three other quakes, the strongest of which was recorded at a 3.4 magnitude and comes nearly a year after another 5.3 magnitude temblor was recorded in the same area.