Earthquakes continue to rock Guthrie, Edmond-area of Oklahoma; OSU geologists looking into cause

GUTHRIE, Okla. - In the past few days nearly a dozen earthquakes have shaken the town of Guthrie, Okla., according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and even more have occurred elsewhere in the state of Oklahoma.

"Just part of life," Faye Sayre said, while working at the Country Corner Antique Shop in downtown Guthrie.

She says she has felt some of the recent quakes and recalled one that rattled her home.

"Next thing I know just felt everything shaking," Sayre said. "My computer was trying to walk across my desk. I though 'Oh, we are having an earthquake.'" 

The earthquakes have the attention of geologists at Oklahoma State University. 

"These are not all of the earthquakes, these are just some of the earthquakes plotted," said assistant OSU professor of geology Daniel Lao Davila, pointing to a map. "The ones from the weekend are located here between Guthrie and Edmond." 

Geologists at OSU confirm what people in Guthrie already know: the number of earthquakes are on the rise.

"What we know is that they have increased, and we didn't expect that," Davila said. "The main point is for people to be aware of the seismic risk in this area."

Something Sayre agrees with, in a part of the country more familiar with dealing with tornadoes than earthquakes.

"Basically no one knows what to do in an earthquake, because we have not been trained to know what to do during an earthquake," Sayre said.

The quakes happen when the earth shifts along fault lines below the surface, which there are several of in the area of Guthrie and surrounding cities.

"It is the release of energy as it moves," Davila said. "So if we have an earthquake, we have to have some movement along those faults."

Some people say the quakes are possibly being caused by man-made activity, something OSU's geology department is investigating.

"There has been some activities in the sub-surface, that could have an impact," Davila said. "We don't know we have to do more specific studies."

So now geologists and other researchers are examining maps, plotting fault lines and comparing them with the earthquakes that have taken place. Davila said scientists will have to take a closer look at the fault lines before they could come up with a more certain reason of why the earthquakes are happening."

Most of the faults are on the sub-surface, so we can't see them on the surface. So we need geo-physical equipment to try and find them," Davila said. 

According to the U.S.G.S., recently the Oklahoma cities of Edmond, Langston, Pawnee and Medford have also dealt with earthquakes. 

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