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Earthquake in Oklahoma: Officials hold presser Monday following 5.0 magnitude quake in Cushing

Posted at 9:01 AM, Nov 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-07 20:25:12-05

CUSHING, Okla. - Cleanup has begun after Cushing city officials say a 5.0 magnitude earthquake damaged 40 to 50 buildings Sunday night.

Cushing City Manager Steve Spears said Monday that the damage from the magnitude 5.0 earthquake includes cracks in buildings and fallen bricks and facades. He says access to the worst-hit areas remains restricted as crews continue to assess the damage.

Some business owners spent the day Monday cleaning up after the damaging quake.

"They seem to be getting bigger and bigger and that's what kind of scares me," says antique seller Garry Smith.

 

Smith says the antique shop sustained structural damage and thousands of pieces of antique glass were shattered on the floor.

"People spend a lot of time collecting this stuff for sale and when it breaks, you lose money," said Smith.

Most buildings in downtown Cushing are nearly 100 years old and city leaders worry some of the buildings are beyond repair.

"From a community development standpoint it's a bit of a letdown because we have high hopes for reinvigorating some of our downtown area," says Cushing Assistant City Manager, Jeremy Frazier.

Meanwhile, Smith says it could take up to a week before the antique shop reopens, which has the potential to hurt business.

"Everybody's gotta kinda start all over, and it's gonna take a while to get his place cleaned up where it's safe and we can have customers come back in."

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation says crews have inspected 110 bridges within a 30-mile radius of the quake's epicenter and found no damage.

Meanwhile, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission is working on an action plan to further modify Arbuckle disposal well operations in the area of the earthquake that struck the Cushing area. Details will be announced as soon as the plan is finalized. The OCC’s Pipeline Safety Department reports normal operation has resumed for pipeline operators in the Cushing oil storage terminal under state jurisdiction.

Geologists have recorded several aftershocks in Oklahoma following the 5.0 earthquake.

The Oklahoma Geological Survey says the aftershocks near Cushing are expected to continue and that there is a 5 percent chance of an aftershock stronger than the initial quake.

Scientists have linked Oklahoma's uptick in earthquakes to the underground injection of wastewater during oil and gas production. Last week, state regulators called for new restrictions on disposal wells near the town of Pawnee following a 4.5 magnitude earthquake on Nov. 1.

Pawnee is 25 miles north of Cushing.

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