Earthquake jolts Oklahoma
BY SHANNON MUCHMORE World Staff Writer
Sunday, November 06, 2011
11/06/11 at 7:20 AM
The largest earthquake in state history rocked Oklahoma late Saturday, causing damage near the epicenter and awakening and frightening residents throughout the state.
The 5.6 magnitude event was preceded by an early morning 4.8 quake that measured third-strongest in recorded Oklahoma history.
No injuries were reported from either quake. Both emanated within miles of each other in central Oklahoma.
"It was a pretty ornery little earthquake," said Joey Wakefield, Lincoln County's emergency manager.
Reports from Lincoln County after the late quake included a boulder the size of an SUV in a roadway, parts of U.S. 62 buckling and a chimney collapsing on a two-story house, said Joey Wakefield, Lincoln County Emergency Manager.
The morning earthquake rattled buildings and awoke residents shortly after 2 a.m. The evening quake followed Saturday at 10:53 p.m.
The evening quake was felt in nine states, including Tennessee and Indiana, said Harley Benz, a seismologist with the United State Geological Survey.
"We live in an underground house ... It about shook me out of bed," said Bill Koch of Jay after Saturday evening's quake.
Saturday morning's quake was followed by more than 70 smaller aftershocks. The morning activity was centered about six miles northwest of Prague, a Lincoln County town about 75 miles southwest of Tulsa, according to the Oklahoma Geological Survey.
The night earthquake was about four miles east of Sparks, according to the center.
After each quake, Oklahomans took to social media in droves to ask, "Did you feel it?"
Throughout the morning and again at night, social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook were abuzz as residents swapped stories and described what they felt.
Tulsa City Councilor G.T. Bynum posted via Twitter early Saturday: "Earthquake strong enough to wake up the kids."
Some Tulsans reported sleeping right through the morning quake, while others awoke to a shaking house and went online to confirm their suspicions.
That's what Tulsa photographer Shannon Hall did. She was still trying to get to sleep when she felt everything shake.
"At first it really felt like a low-flying jet, and then a second later I knew what it was," she said.
She got on Facebook to see what others had experienced, and later in the morning, tweeted about the earthquake.
Saturday morning, Tulsa Police said no damage had been reported in the area and Oklahoma County officials said only minor damage had occurred there. There were frayed nerves near the epicenter of the first quake.
"Oh, man. I've never felt anything like that in my life," said Prague City Police Department dispatcher Claudie Morton.
Amie Gibson, research scientist with the Oklahoma Geological Survey, said the second largest earthquake in recorded state history was a 5.5 magnitude quake near El Reno in 1952.
Reports indicate Saturday's morning quake was felt all over the state and as far north as southern Kansas, Gibson said.
"It was pretty intense to be felt that far away," she said.
The first quake's tremors lasted 10-15 seconds in the Tulsa area, according to multiple accounts. Windows rattled in a fashion similar to the rumble of a low-flying plane or a clap of thunder, people who felt the quake said.
The morning earthquake, which was at a depth of 3.1 kilometers, was most likely on the Wilzetta fault, also known as the Seminole uplift. A magnitude 4.1 earthquake occurred near the same location in February 2010, according to the Oklahoma Geological Survey. The evening earthquake was at a depth of 5 kilometers.
More than 100 earthquakes were felt in Oklahoma in 2010. The number of earthquakes in the past two years does "not appear to be inconsistent with what might be called normal seismicity for Oklahoma," according to OGS.
State's big quakes
|Mag. || Place ||Date|
|5.6 ||Sparks ||Nov. 5, 2011|
|5.5 ||El Reno ||April 9, 1952|
|4.8 ||Prague ||Nov. 5, 2011|
|4.7 ||Noble ||Oct. 13, 2010|
|4.4 ||Spalding ||June 1, 1939|
|4.3 ||Marble City ||June 20, 1926|
|4.2 ||Faxon ||June 17, 1959|
|4.2 ||Antioch ||Jan. 18, 1995|
|4.2 ||Richards Spur ||April 28, 1998|
|4.1 ||Catoosa ||Oct. 30, 1956|
|4.1 ||Wilburton ||April 27, 1961|
|4.1 ||Prague ||Feb. 27, 2010|
Source: Oklahoma Geological Survey
World Outdoors Writer Kelly Bostian, News Editor Mike Strain and Staff Writer Amanda Bland contributed to this report.
Original Print Headline: Quakes rattle region
Shannon Muchmore 918-581-8378