Earthquake in Oklahoma rattle nerves, no injuries reported
Earthquake in Oklahoma: An earthquake in Oklahoma late Saturday was the state's strongest ever, and it jolted a college football stadium 50 miles away. It was followed early Sunday by a jarring aftershock.
Oklahomans more accustomed to tornadoes than earthquakes suffered through a weekend of temblors that cracked buildings, buckled a highway and rattled nerves. One quake late Saturday was the state's strongest ever and jolted a college football stadium 50 miles away and was followed early Sunday by a jarring aftershock.Skip to next paragraph
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There were no reports in the hours after the quakes of any severe injuries or severe damage.
"That shook up the place, had a lot of people nervous," Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon said of the late Saturday quake, the strongest of a series of quakes. "Yeah, it was pretty strong."
The magnitude 5.6 earthquake Saturday night was centered near Sparks, 44 miles northeast of Oklahoma City, and could be felt throughout the state and in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, northern Texas, and some parts of Illinois and Wisconsin, said geophysicist Jessica Turner at the U.S. Geological Survey. A magnitude 4.7 quake early Saturday was felt from Texas to Missouri.
Turner told The Associated Press that the subsequent magnitude 4.0 quake that struck at 3:39 a.m. Sunday was an aftershock centered some 36 miles east of Oklahoma City in the same region. Like Saturday night's quake, she said it was another shallow quake occurring about 3 miles underground, but experts had no immediate explanation for the spurt in seismic activity.
Following the quakes or numerous small aftershocks, several homeowners and businesses reported cracked walls, fallen knickknacks and other minor damage. At Shawnee, the fire department said one spire on the administration building at St. Gregory University had been damaged and another one was leaning, according to KWTV in Oklahoma City.
An emergency manager in Lincoln County near the epicenter said U.S. 62, a two-lane highway that meanders through rolling landscape between Oklahoma City and the Arkansas state line, crumbled in places when the stronger quake struck Saturday night. Other reports Sunday were sketchy and mentioned cracks in some buildings and a chimney toppled.
"Earthquake damage in Oklahoma. That's an anomaly right there," Todd McKinsey of Moore told The Oklahoman newspaper after the magnitude 5.6 temblor centered 50 miles away left him with cracked drywall.
Oklahoma typically has about 50 earthquakes a year, and 57 tornadoes, but a swarm of quakes east of Oklahoma City contributed to a sharp increase in the number of temblors. Researchers said 1,047 quakes occurred last year, prompting them to install seismographs in the area. A cause of the uptick wasn't known.
Saturday night's earthquake jolted Oklahoma State University's stadium shortly after the No. 3 Cowboys defeated No. 17 Kansas State. The crowd of 58,895 was still leaving when it hit, and players were in the locker rooms beneath the stands at Boone Pickens Stadium.
The temblor seemed to last the better part of a minute, rippling upward to the stadium press box.
"Everybody was looking around and no one had any idea," Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden said. "We thought the people above us were doing something. I've never felt one, so that was a first."