Earthquake causes limited damages in U.S. state of Oklahoma

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HOUSTON, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) — A 5.6 magnitude earthquake hit the U.S. state of Oklahoma on Saturday morning with limited damages being reported.

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquake, which occurred at 7:02 a.m. local time on Saturday morning with the epicenter about 14.4 km northwest of Pawnee, a city in northern Oklahoma, was also felt in several surrounding states including Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Texas.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin tweeted on Saturday that crews from the Department of Emergency Management were surveying damage in and around the city. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation reported that there was no damage found to bridges within a 48 km radius of the earthquake’s epicenter, according to the website of the English daily The Oklahoman.

Pawnee police said that no buildings in the city had collapsed but windows were shattered and the facades of some downtown brick buildings from the late 1800s and early 1900s were damaged.

There was an injury reported with the earthquake. A Pawnee County man was injured as he was protecting a child from a falling chimney inside a home and was struck by bricks. The man, who was sent to a local hospital for medical treatment, left the hospital after being treated for his injuries.

The quake, which happened in the state’s north-central part, a key energy-producing region, is Oklahoma’s strongest earthquake, tying a record set in 2011.

Several aftershocks ranging from 3.4 magnitude to 3.6 magnitude were reported to shake the area hours after the earthquake.

Oklahoma, a big oil and gas producer in the nation, has had an increase in earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 and greater that has been linked to underground disposal of wastewater from oil and natural gas production. A number of earthquakes hit northwest Oklahoma this year, including a 5.1 magnitude earthquake. State regulators have asked producers to reduce wastewater disposal volumes in earthquake-prone regions of the state.

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