USGS: 3 earthquakes give Oklahoma the shakes
Saturday, November 5, 2011
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A moderate earthquake early Saturday in central Oklahoma knocked pictures off walls and woke people and pets as it shook an area that stretched into Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Texas.
The U.S. Geological Survey said on its website Saturday that a 4.7 magnitude earthquake struck at 2:12 a.m., with an epicenter about six miles north of Prague in Lincoln County. That's about 50 miles east of Oklahoma City and 75 miles southwest of Tulsa.
A 3.4 magnitude aftershock was reported at 2:27 a.m. from the same location, as well as a 2.7 magnitude aftershock at 2:44 a.m.
"Oh, man. I've never felt anything like that in my life," Prague City Police Department dispatcher Claudie Morton told the Tulsa World. "It was the scariest thing. I had a police officer just come in and sit down and all the sudden the walls started shaking and the windows were rattling. It felt like the roof was going to come off the police department."
Morton said the office was flooded with calls, but no one reported injuries or major damage. She said residents told her that picture frames and mirrors fell from walls and broke, drawers worked loose from dressers and objects tumbled out of cabinets.
"We do have several damaged buildings downtown, but it's just cracks and things like that," Morton said. "Nothing is destroyed or anything like that."
Oklahoma Geological Survey researcher Austin Holland told Oklahoma City television station KOTV that the earthquake and aftershocks occurred on a known fault line.
Residents in Prague and Sparks felt an intense shaking, while farther away, the quake was more of a dull rumble, he said.
"It shakes much more rapidly when you're closer to it," he said. "Because it's a large earthquake, it's going to rumble for a while."
Holland said his office received hundreds of emails from people who felt the quake. The messages came from as far as Texas, Missouri and Arkansas, he said.
Tom Foster of Oklahoma City told The Oklahoman that he slept through the earthquake but was awakened by an aftershock.
"I know we've already had several phone calls from out of state relatives wondering what happened," Foster said. "I guess it's more interesting than anything that was dangerous."
Heather Spicer of Sapulpa said the shaking woke her son and their dog.
"At first I thought an airplane had crashed nearby," she told The Oklahoman. "But now I believe it was an earthquake because the whole house just kept vibrating with what sounded like distant thunder outside."
A 5.1 magnitude earthquake struck in October 2010 a few miles southeast of Norman. Two people were treated at hospitals after that temblor.
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