Strong earthquake rattles remote West Texas desert

MENTONE, Texas (AP) — A strong earthquake shook a sparsely populated patch of desert in West Texas on Thursday, causing tremors felt as far away as the Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez.

The magnitude 5.3 earthquake struck around 3:30 p.m., according to Jim DeBerry, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in the West Texas city Midland. He said the strength of the quake means it likely caused damage in the remote oil patch and scrubland, but none had been reported so far.

DeBerry said the epicenter was about 23 miles (37 kilometers) south of Mentone, a tiny community south of the New Mexico state line and 95 miles (153 kilometers) west of Midland.

State Rep. Eddie Morales, Jr., whose district includes Mentone, said he spoke with local authorities and there were no reported injuries. He said via Twitter that state officials will be “inspecting roads, bridges and other infrastructure as a precaution.”

DeBerry said there were reports of people feeling vibrations from the quake 200 miles (515 kilometers) west in the border city of Ciudad Juárez and 200 miles (515 kilometers) south in Terlingua, a small community near the Rio Grande and Big Bend National Park.

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