Earthquake shakes Oklahoma County _ barely

Tuesday, December 18th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

EDMOND, Okla. (AP) _ A minor earthquake shook parts of Oklahoma County but went almost unnoticed.

The earthquake registered 2.2 on the Richter scale and occurred at 2:21 a.m. Sunday, officials said. The quake was the smallest that can be felt and only two people reported feeling it.

The earthquake's epicenter was recorded in an area five miles west of Edmond and six miles north of The Village, said Jim Lawson, chief geophysicist for the state Geological Survey.

The quake occurred on the same date as one that hit Del City and Midwest City in 1974.

Lawson said people likely did not notice the earthquake because it was weak and because they probably were asleep.

``Earthquakes of a magnitude 2.2 are in most places considered not felt,'' he said.

Lawson said there have been six earthquakes in the county in the last 30 years or so.

Lawson said there are no recorded faults in Oklahoma County.

``This involved a very small movement, like a tenth of an inch or less,'' he said. ``Faults do not exist until they break the surface and get mapped.''

The quake also doesn't signify there are more tremors to come, Lawson said.

``With small earthquakes like that scattered over a long time, it's not an indication of danger,'' he said.

Lawson said most of the earthquake movement in the metro area occurs in Canadian County, where 84 earthquakes have been recorded in the last 30 years.

Most notable was an earthquake that registered 5.5 on the Richter scale in April 1952 near El Reno. The quake put a 50-foot-long crack in the floor of the state Capitol.