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4.5 Magnitude Earthquake Rattles Central Oklahoma

Ken Miller
Published: December 7, 2013

A 4.5 magnitude earthquake shook central Oklahoma early Saturday afternoon. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

OKLAHOMA CITY — A magnitude-4.5 earthquake recoded in central Oklahoma by the U.S. Geological Survey has been followed by two smaller earthquakes.

No injuries or damage are reported.

The USGS says the magnitude-4.5 quake was recorded at 12:10 p.m. Saturday near Arcadia, about 14 miles northeast of Oklahoma City. The agency reports that temblor was followed by a 2.8-magnitude earthquake at 1:26 p.m. about 10 miles northeast of Oklahoma City and a magnitude-3.1 tremor at 5:58 p.m. about 6 miles northeast of the city.

Marty Doepke (DEP'-kee), the general manager of Pops Restaurant in Arcadia, says there was no damage at the restaurant from the magnitude-4.5 quake - but that customers and employees were initially surprised, then went back to watching the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State football game.

Marty Doepke, general manager of Pops Restaurant in Arcadia, said there was no damage at the restaurant that's known for its selection of some 600 soft drinks — hundreds of which are displayed along shelves.

"It shook a bit, that's for sure. Everybody just kind of stopped and looked around," Doepke said. "Everybody almost automatically knew what it was and then went back to watching the Bedlam game" — Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.

The earthquake was centered near Arcadia, about 14 miles northeast of Oklahoma City, and was about 5 miles deep, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

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Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management spokeswoman Keli Cain said no injuries or damage were reported. A spokesman for the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office did not immediately return a phone call.

Oklahoma is crisscrossed with fault lines that generate frequent small earthquakes, most too weak to be felt. But after decades of limited seismic activity in this region, earthquakes have become more common in the last several years.

The strongest earthquake on record in Oklahoma was a magnitude-5.6 earthquake on Nov. 5, 2011. That time, the football stadium in Stillwater, about 70 miles north of Oklahoma City, started shaking just after OSU defeated No. 17 Kansas State and left ESPN anchor Kirk Herbstreit wide-eyed during a postgame telecast.

That temblor also toppled castle-like turrets at St. Gregory's University in Shawnee, some 40 miles east of Oklahoma City.

Since 2009, more than 200 magnitude-3.0 or greater earthquakes have hit the state's midsection, according to the Geological Survey. Scientists are not sure why seismic activity has spiked, but one theory is that it could be related to wastewater from oil and gas drilling that is often discarded by injecting it deep into underground wells.

Saturday's tremor was felt in the northern Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond, where Gabriella Devero, a University of Central Oklahoma student, was visiting her grandmother and experienced her first earthquake.

"My jaw was just wide open, 'Was I actually going through an earthquake?'" Devero said about her initial thoughts. "Then I was like, 'Yep this is actually an earthquake.'

She continued: "My grandma came into the room and was like 'Gabby are you OK,' and I was like, 'yes, I'm just terrified.'"

MORE: Deadliest Earthquakes From 1990-2013

India: Sept. 29, 1993

India: Sept. 29, 1993

The first of two of the top-10 deadliest earthquakes of the last 25 years that occurred in India was a 6.2 temblor that killed 9,748, according to the USGS. (DOUGLAS E. CURRAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • India: Sept. 29, 1993
  • Turkey: Aug. 17, 1999
  • India: Jan. 26, 2001
  • Japan: March 11, 2011
  • Southeastern Iran: Dec. 26, 2003
  • Iran: June 20, 1990
  • Pakistan: Oct. 8, 2005
  • Eastern Sichuan, China: May 12, 2008
  • Northern Sumatra: Dec. 26, 2004
  • Haiti Earthquake: Jan. 12, 2010

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