Earthquake rattles northeastern Oklahoma

4.8 earthquake shakes Oklahoma

LEONARD, Okla. - The 4.8 magnitude earthquake that rocked Oklahoma was strong enough to knock items from shelves and a few miles from the epicenter near Prague in Lincoln County, powerful enough to topple entire bookcases.

The quake was also felt in parts of Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Texas.

Damage aside, the quake also rattled plenty of nerves.

"The doors were moving. I could tell the bolts and hinges were moving," said Tulsa resident Brock Shanhan. "Unlike [anything] I've ever seen in my life. It was bizarre."

Amie Gibson, a research scientist for the Oklahoma Geological Survey said at 4.8, the earthquake is the strongest to hit the state in nearly sixty years.

"We usually average roughly a magnitude 2.5. This is a lot bigger and it's actually the second largest one we ever had," said Gibson. "From Broken Arrow to Muskogee to Sand Springs, all over northeast Oklahoma, it really scared a lot of people."

The most powerful earthquake recorded in Oklahoma measured a 5.5 on the Richter scale and hit the El Reno area in Canadian County in 1952.

Gibson said Saturday's tremor likely originated from the Wilzetta Fault.

Gibson said while central Oklahoma experiences small quakes on a regular basis, they're usually not strong enough to be felt in Green Country.

"When you think about 500 years ago as compared to right now, it could have been worse than what we're experiencing now, but nobody knows. We're just a blimp in time," said Gibson.

Scientists counted more than 70 small aftershocks within the first five hours of the quake.

Gibson said aftershocks could last for a few days.

 

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