OGS: Number of quakes in 24 hrs unprecedented'

Posted at 6:23 PM, Jan 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-07 19:23:53-05

Thousands of Oklahomans were rocked by several strong earthquakes late Wednesday and early Thursday.

Overall, nearly twenty have been recorded in the past 24 hours.

They weren't just frequent, they were strong, too. Now, several people are wondering what could be next to come.

RELATED: Multiple earthquakes rock the state late Wednesday | The Oklahoma Geological Survey is trying to predict where big quakes will hit next | 

Peyton Gallovich is a native Arizonian and 2 Works for You's newest producer - and she's only lived in Tulsa for a few weeks. Wednesday night she received a true Oklahoma welcome.

"My lamp and tree started shaking and a book and frame fell off the bookshelf, and I thought ‘oh my gosh I think this is an earthquake!’" she said.

Gallovich immediately emailed in to the newsroom - and she wasn't the only one. Hundreds of people felt exactly what she did - strong shaking that lasted several seconds.

"I’ve never felt them so I have to say my first reaction was, ‘Ahh I finally felt it!’" said Gallovich.

Although last night's damage was minimal, the Oklahoma Geological Survey recorded three back to back at a strong 4.0 magnitude or higher, one of those - a staggering 4.8 - the strongest in five years.

"If they had occurred as a single earthquake, that would be the largest in quite some time," said OGS Director Jerry Boak.

Boak says these quakes are man-made and their growing frequency is concerning.

"Over the next four years, it's quite likely that if we keep up the pattern we've got, that we'll have a magnitude five earthquake," he said.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is working to control these quakes by reducing underground water injections, but Boak says quakes are a new norm for Oklahoma.

"I think looking around your house and finding those heavy objects on high shelves and taking them down would be a good idea," said Boak.

Being prepared for earthquakes is not something our newest producer was expecting.

"You had the crazy flooding, then the ice, and I think there was some tornado warnings in there and now an earthquake. So it's just been a lovely severe weather change from Phoenix," she said.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission just released their plan on minimizing these earthquakes all across the state.

Since then, several oil wells have reduced their operations for research.