4.3 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Central Oklahoma, Felt Across Five States

Wednesday, October 13th 2010, 10:17 am
By: News On 6

NewsOn6.com & Craig Day, News On 6

UNDATED -- A preliminary 4.3 magnitude earthquake struck Oklahoma Wednesday morning.  No major injuries or damage were reported.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the earthquake struck at 9:06 a.m. at a depth of 3.1 miles about eight miles east of Norman in Cleveland County.

The quake rattled parts of five states.  Initial reports put the quake's magnitude at 4.5 but that was revised down to 4.3 a short time later.  As the day wore on, some sources reported the magnitude as 5.1.  The News On 6 is waiting for the final official word from the U.S. Geological Survey.

"We have quakes all the time, especially in Oklahoma County. But this one coming in, in Cleveland County, It's different, said Amie Gibson, a research scientist. "It really is, and I think it caught a lot of people off guard."

"Floor shaking. Walls shaking. The roof shook and it all just kept shaking," said Steve Allen. "We obviously knew something weird had happened."

"I just thought, we're in Oklahoma, we're supposed to have tornados not earthquakes, but we do," Ronnie Wilkins said.

10/13/10 Related Story: News On 6 Viewers Share Their Earthquake Stories

The USGS says since 1974 more than 200 earthquakes have been detected within about 50 miles of Wednesday's quake.

Since 1882, all of Oklahoma has had 11 damaging earthquakes. The largest of these, a 5.5 earthquake, caused moderate damage in and near El Reno in 1952, according to the USGS.

Governor Brad Henry said state authorities are in the process of reviewing state infrastructure in the wake of Wednesday morning's earthquake.

"Teams are already in the field examining roads, bridges and other state structures to determine if any damage occurred and whether any additional actions are necessary to protect public safety," Henry said.  "There's certainly no reason to panic, but we want to err on the side of caution and do everything we can to make sure people and structures are safe."

The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority and its consulting engineer, The Benham Companies, have begun inspections on all bridges located around the Oklahoma City metro area.

The inspections will first focus on 13 bridges along the H.E. Bailey Norman Spur that connects with State Highway 9 south of Norman, 10 bridge structures on the H.E. Bailey mainline, 70 bridges along the entire Kilpatrick Turnpike and 40 bridge structures on the western end of the Turner Turnpike between Oklahoma City and Chandler.

The Turnpike Authority maintenance department will also inspect all remaining bridges throughout the Turnpike system.

"At this time, we don't believe there are any structural issues with any of our bridges in and around the earthquake," said Jack Damrill, Turnpike spokesperson. "Our maintenance department was out quickly after the quake to look at the roadway and bridges. Our consulting engineer and our engineering department is now conducting more thorough inspections of those bridges."

Damrill said as of Wednesday afternoon all bridges had been visually inspected and more thorough inspections will begin Thursday morning.

Oklahoma City EMSA reports that two patients suffering from falls needed medical care as a result of the earthquake in the Oklahoma City area. One man, who fell from a ladder, is said to be in good condition. The other victim was also in good condition, though no other details were available about the injury.

Norman resident Dan Reed was at home recording a video blog as he normally does every morning when the earthquake hit. [  Watch the video]

The City of Tulsa issued this statement:

Mayor Dewey Bartlett reported the City of Tulsa is working with the officials of the Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency in collecting information following the earthquake reported at 9:06 a.m. Wednesday in Norman, Oklahoma.

The State of Oklahoma has reported the earthquake was felt in northeastern Oklahoma.

Fire Chief Allen LaCroix said the effects were minimal and we do not anticipate that any underground damage to water or sewer lines has occurred in Tulsa.

The evidence would be unusual odors or sanitary sewer drains not flowing properly. Tulsa County has already reported that there is little to no damage reported in Tulsa.

The state reported it has received calls at the State Emergency Operations Center from residents in Bryan, Caddo, Canadian, Cleveland, Coal, Comanche, Garvin, Johnston, Muskogee, Oklahoma, Pontotoc, Stephens and Tulsa counties.

All reports confirm individuals felt the earthquake. So far OEM has received no reports of damage or injuries across the state.

Little to no damage has been reported in the Tulsa area.  

Officials say broken windows and other minor damage was reported in the Norman and Oklahoma City area.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has teams in the field examining roads and bridges, and the Department of Central Services and the Department of Public Safety are reviewing state facilities and buildings for damage.

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett issued the following statement about the earthquake:

"It's obviously extremely unusual for an earthquake of this magnitude to be felt in Oklahoma City. Fortunately, we have no reports of injuries or significant damage. We are awaiting further information but we have no reason to believe this is anything other than merely an interesting event."

Authorities say the effects of the earthquake could be felt as far south as the Texas state line and as far north as the Kansas state  line.

There were reports of minor damage on the campus of the University of Oklahoma.