A 5.6 magnitude earthquake rattled north-central Oklahoma on September 3, with tremors so powerful that they could be felt from Kansas down to Texas. Click through to learn more about the record-tying quake, and see pics of the damage.
The earthquake hit just after 7:00am around Pawnee, 74 miles from Oklahoma City, according to the United States Geological Survey. The earthquake, though powerful, didn’t cause any significant damage, and initial reports indicate there were no injuries in the town of 2200 (or anywhere in the state). This earthquake is only matched in power in the state by a historic 5.6 magnitude earthquake in November 2011.
Pawnee Mayor Brad Sewell said that the earthquake lasted around one minute, a terrifying amount of time considering that previous tremors in the area have only lasted for a few short seconds. “We have had a spate of quakes over the last several years, but nothing like this,” he told Reuters. “It was a long, sustained quake. … Clearly it was felt far and wide.”
He’s right about that. The aftershocks from the earthquake were reported all over the midwest: in Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri; Fayetteville and Little Rock, Arkansas; Des Moines, Iowa; and Dallas, Texas. There have also been reports from Nebraska, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Kansas. That’s a significant swath of land.
The frequency and magnitude of earthquakes in Oklahoma is increasing rapidly, with the state recording an average of two and a half quakes daily of a magnitude 3 or higher; this is a seismicity rate 600 times greater than experienced pre-2008, which according to the Associated Press, may be due to the underground disposal of wastewater from oil and natural gas production.
The epicenter of the earthquake was located on the edge of an area where regulators had come in to regulate this wastewater disposal. Oklahoma now almost matches Northern California as the location for the highest frequency of earthquakes in the country. That’s deeply troubling for the midwest.
HollywoodLifers, did you feel the Oklahoma earthquake? Tell us in the comments!