Aftershocks To Rattle Oklahoma For Weeks To Come

Monday, November 7th 2011, 10:04 pm
By: News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Dozens of aftershocks followed Saturday's 5.6 earthquake, the biggest was in Meeker at a 2.6 magnitude.

Even if we can't feel them Oklahoma will be rattled by aftershocks for weeks, and even months to come. But one local expert says we've already felt the worst of it.

An earthquake strong enough to damage homes and buckle roads seems out of place in the Sooner State.

"We have an incredible range of geology. It's very active tectonically. We have earthquakes all the time in Oklahoma."

The U.S. Geological Survey ranks Oklahoma 18th in the nation for the number of earthquakes, of course many rumbles deep beneath the earth's crust and are never felt on the surface.

Structural geologist Doctor Bryan Tapp says you shouldn't be surprised by the quakes, what is unusual is the timing of the twin tremors.

The early Saturday morning 4.7 is now being called a "foreshock" to the 5.6 that rocked the state more than eight hours later.

"I think this is probably going to be the limit for a while. We're going to see ones in the three-range," Dr. Tapp said.

Doctor Tapp says this shaky scenario has been shaping up for 300 million years. He says when the Wichita, Arbuckle, and Ouachita Mountains rose; it created two basins that continue to sink to this day.

All that activity created a fault line where the tectonic plates continue to shift and settle, causing the tremors.

"Nothing to be afraid of, they will cause damage. But I don't expect it to occur again. I don't think we're ramping up for the big one. This one is probably the big one for some time. At least I hope so," Dr. Tapp said.

The next time a quake strikes, experts say you shouldn't dive for a doorway, unless you know it's strongly supported or load-bearing.

They advise you to take cover under a sturdy table or piece of furniture. Your instinct maybe to get out of wherever you are, FEMA says it's safer to stay put. Research shows the most injuries happen when people try to leave the building during an earthquake.

11/5/2011 Related Story: More Aftershocks Sunday, After Oklahoma's Largest Earthquake Saturday

11/5/2011 Related Story: 4.7 Magnitude Earthquake, Aftershocks Rumble Through Oklahoma