5.6 earthquake rattles Oklahoma and Kansas

Damage from magnitude 5.6 Earthquake in Pawnee, Oklahoma (Courtesy: KJRH)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A significant earthquake rattled parts of Oklahoma and Kansas at 7:02 a.m. Saturday. The U.S. Geological Survey reports the quake was a 5.6 magnitude. That would tie the record-breaking earthquake of November 5, 2011 that was centered about 31 miles east of Oklahoma City near Pawnee, Oklahoma.

According to the USGS, the quake’s epicenter was located 14km NW of Pawnee, Oklahoma. View Earthquake map.

The USGS tweeted that aftershocks may occur. No major damage has been reported at this time, though some news outlets report that a grocery store in Pawnee, Oklahoma had items rattled off the shelves and a building at 6th and Harrison in downtown Pawnee had stone facing fall off onto the sidewalk.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin tweeted Saturday morning that the Oklahoma Department of Transportation is checking bridges in the Pawnee area for damage. Fallin also tweeted that state officials want structural engineers to look at building safety in the wake of the quake.

Seismographs with the Kansas Geological survey leave little doubt that the quake was significant and long-lasting.

Seismograph showing Saturday morning earthquake and aftershock. (Kansas Geological Survey)
Seismograph showing Saturday morning earthquake and multiple aftershocks, including a 3.6 around 7:59 a.m. (Kansas Geological Survey)

Many viewers have told KSN they felt the quake, saying it was the largest they had felt so far.

According to the AP, people in Kansas City, Missouri; Fayetteville, Arkansas; Des Moines, Iowa; and Norman, Oklahoma, all reported feeling the earthquake. Dallas TV station WFAA tweeted that the quake shook their studios, too.

An increase in magnitude 3.0 or greater earthquakes in Oklahoma has been linked to underground disposal of wastewater from oil and natural gas production. State regulators have asked producers to reduce wastewater disposal volumes in earthquake-prone regions of the state. Some parts of Oklahoma now match northern California for the nation’s most shake prone, and one Oklahoma region has a 1 in 8 chance of a damaging quake in 2016, with other parts closer to 1 in 20.

A cluster of quakes in northwestern Oklahoma this year included a magnitude 5.1 earthquake, and several 4.7 quakes were felt last fall before regulators stepped in to limit disposal activity.

Saturday’s quake was centered about 9 miles northwest of Pawnee, Oklahoma. Earlier this week, the same spot, which is about 70 miles northeast of Oklahoma City, saw a magnitude 3.2 temblor.

Sean Weide in Omaha, Nebraska, told The Associated Press that he’d never been in an earthquake before and thought he was getting dizzy. Weide said he and one of his daughters “heard the building start creaking” and said it “was surreal.”

Building damage in Pawnee, Oklahoma (photo courtesy Twitter / @boberryIII)
Building damage in Pawnee, Oklahoma (photo courtesy Twitter / @boberryIII)


Damage to home in Stillwater, Oklahoma (photo courtesy Nathan Tifft Twitter / @ntifft)
Damage to home in Stillwater, Oklahoma (photo courtesy Nathan Tifft / @ntifft)



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