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Oklahoma earthquake rumbles through nine US states

The magnitude 4.7 quake, centered in Oklahoma, but the temblor could be felt up to 1,200 miles away.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or serious damage after a magnitude 4.7 earthquake struck Oklahoma and Kansas Thursday morning, authorities said.

The quake shook parts of northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas at 1:42 a.m., according to the National Earthquake Information Center. It was centered near Cherokee, Okla., which lies 20 miles south of the Kansas border.

The quake was nothing residents of the area are not used to, according to National Earthquake Information Center geophysicist Randy Baldwin, who told the Associated Press that in 2015 Oklahoma has felt more than 20 magnitude 4 quakes.

The quake's epicenter was centered 8 miles southwest of Cherokee at a depth of 3.8 miles, according to the US Geological Survey. 

The earthquake could be felt in nine states and as far away as Tucson, Ariz., about 1,200 miles from the epicenter, according to the Kansas news station KWCH 12. Local emergency workers said more than 80 residents called to report the earthquake. Others took to social media.

The temblor sent so many birds into the sky, their flight could be spotted on National Weather Service radar. 

Oklahoma geologists have said wastewater from oil production may be causing a recent rise in seismic activity across the region. The USGS says human activity can induce earthquakes through mining, damming rivers, and injecting fluid into the earth’s crust to extract gas. 

“In much of eastern and central North America, the number of earthquakes suspected of having been induced is much smaller than the number of natural earthquakes,” the USGS noted on its website. “But in some regions, such as the south-central states of the U.S., a significant majority of recent earthquakes are thought by many seismologists to have been human-induced.” 

This report contains material from Reuters and the Associated Press.

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