Living in Oklahoma my whole life, I have experienced a lot of odd and extreme weather and non-weather related incidents. Tornadoes, Blizzards, Ice Storms, Hail Storms, Extreme Drought, Floods Etc. But, as of this past weekend, Earthquakes can now be marked off of that particular check list!
It is not odd for Oklahoma to have Earthquakes, although large ones like the 5.6 magnitude that can be felt in states as far away as Wisconsin are fairly rare.
Here's a look at some of the quakes that have been felt in Oklahoma since before statehood and the more recent quakes of 2010 and 2011.
1800s and 1900s
1800s: The great earthquakes in the New Madrid, Mo., region in 1811-1812, and a strong earthquake centered in Arkansas on Oct. 22, 1881, likely were felt in the area that is now Oklahoma. Dec. 2, 1897: The first recorded quake known to have been centered in the state occurred Dec. 2, 1897, in Grant County. September 1918: In September 1918, a series of shocks in El Reno produced minor effects. Dec. 27, 1929: On Dec. 27, 1929, another quake was felt in parts of central and western Oklahoma. Some plaster cracked and at least one chimney fell in El Reno. Clocks stopped, objects moved and some reports indicated walls and floors swayed. People rushed from their homes in alarm. April 9, 1952: A magnitude-5.5 earthquake on April 9, 1952, was centered near El Reno and affected most of Oklahoma and parts of Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas. Damage from the 10:30 a.m. earthquake was not extensive, but many people near the epicenter were alarmed. Plate glass windows were shattered in the business district of El Reno. Aftershocks were felt on April 11, 15, and 16, July 16 and Aug. 14. Homes and buildings shook and people were awakened in El Reno in the April 16 aftershock, at 5 minutes after midnight. People reported feeling the earthquake in Kingfisher, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Union City. Oct. 7, 1952: A quake was felt in Holdenville and Wewoka on Oct. 7, 1952. March 17, 1953: Minor damage to a building foundation and plaster in Concho resulted from two March 17, 1953, quakes about an hour apart. People felt the earthquake in Calumet, Edmond, El Reno, Minco, Okarche, Piedmont and Union City. April 2, 1956: Southeastern Oklahoma was disturbed by a noisy earthquake on April 2, 1956. Buildings shook and objects fell in Antlers, and people were alarmed. Oct. 30, 1956: On Oct. 30, 1956, a large area in northeastern Oklahoma was shaken. West of Catoosa, the movement caused an oil well to be shut down. June 17, 1959: A broad area of southwestern Oklahoma and the adjacent portion of Texas felt an early morning shock June 17, 1959. Slight damage, consisting of cracks in plaster, pavement and a house foundation occurred in Cache, Duncan and Lawton. A smaller earthquake June 15 was felt by many in Ada and nearby. Jan. 10, 1961: On Jan. 10, 1961, a mild shock was felt in Latimer and Pittsburg counties in southeastern Oklahoma. Thunderous earth sounds were heard in many places, but no damage was reported. Another noisy quake April 27, 1961, awoke many in Antlers, Coalgate, Hartshorne, Le Flore, McCurtain, Panola, Poteau, Talihina and Wilburton. Oct. 14, 1968: An Oct. 14, 1968, earthquake caused cracked walls and broke glass in two structures in Durant. The media reported that a 5-foot-tall advertising stand fell over. Slight foreshocks were felt in Durant on Oct. 10 and 11. Effects from the Oct. 14 event were noted in Caddo. May 2, 1969: A magnitude-4.6 earthquake cracked plaster in Wewoka on May 2, 1969. Effects were reported in several other towns in the region.
Jan. 15, 2010: On Jan. 15 a magnitude-4 earthquake occurred at 9:18 a.m. with an epicenter three miles northeast of Jones. A second earthquake, magnitude 3.8, was recorded at 9:27 a.m. with an epicenter one mile northeast of Jones. Jan. 24, 2010: A 3.7-magnitude quake occurred in eastern Oklahoma County near Jones about 1:15 a.m. Jan. 24. Its epicenter was about six miles below the surface, which is about three miles deeper than most of the quakes that have hit in the last year. Feb. 1, 2010: A 2.5-magnitude earthquake hit near Jones on Feb. 1. The quake was three miles southeast of Jones and five miles northeast of Choctaw about 5:45 p.m. Feb. 12, 2010: A 3.2-magnitude earthquake occurred southeast of Luther about 11:30 p.m. Feb. 12. The epicenter was about six miles southeast of Luther and three miles beneath the surface. Feb. 26, 2010: Two earthquakes were recorded Feb. 26 in Lincoln County. A magnitude-2.9 quake was reported at 10:12 a.m. two miles southeast of Wellston in Lincoln County. The quake was about three miles below the surface. A magnitude-2.5 quake was recorded at 8:35 a.m. five miles southwest of Chandler. Feb. 27, 2010: The earthquake felt across wide swathes of Oklahoma on Feb. 27 was a magnitude 4.1. The quake struck near Sparks along the Turner Turnpike northeast of Oklahoma City, but state residents reported feeling the quake as far south as Norman and as far north as Tulsa. March 11, 2010: Western Canadian County was struck by 10 quakes March 11 with several being felt in Minco and Niles. The area was near the Caddo and Grady County lines, according to Oklahoma Geological Survey officials. The strongest of the group registered a magnitude 3.4. That quake's epicenter was 10 miles west-southwest of El Reno and happened just before 6 p.m. Of the other nine quakes, six were clustered about 11 miles south-southwest of El Reno. March 13, 2010: A 3.1-magnitude earthquake struck southwest of El Reno in Canadian County on March 13. The quake, which occurred about 3 a.m., was 12 miles southwest of El Reno and about three miles beneath the surface. March 19, 2010: The epicenter of the 2.4-magnitude quake March 19 was about three miles east of Forest Park and six miles northeast of Oklahoma City. March 21, 2010: A 3.7-magnitude earthquake struck near Prague in Lincoln County on March 21. The quake, which occurred about 8:35 p.m., was recorded five miles northwest of Prague. Reports came from as far as Tulsa and Claremore. April 11, 2010: A magnitude-3 earthquake occurred about 11:05 p.m. April 11 about six miles southeast of Luther in Oklahoma County. April 14-15, 2010: Quakes were recorded April 14 and 15. The first quake was magnitude 3 and struck about six miles north of Tupelo, and the second was magnitude 3.2 and hit about six miles southeast of Allen. May 7, 2010: A magnitude-3.1 quake was recorded May 7 four miles southeast of Jones. The quake occurred at 7:44 a.m. June 30-July 1, 2010: The U.S. Geological Survey said two earthquakes were detected 5 minutes apart beginning about 7:41 p.m. June 30 near Ratliff City. Both had a magnitude of 2.5. A third was about 12:52 p.m. July 1, 2010, near Harrah. That quake had a magnitude of 2.6. Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 2010: Six small earthquakes were recorded in the Luther and Jones areas Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. The quakes had a magnitude of 3.1 on Aug. 31. Sept. 4, 2010: A small quake hit Sept. 4 near Luther. The 3.1-magnitude quake occurred about 10:20 a.m. and was centered about four miles south of Luther. Sept. 19, 2010: A quake with a 4 magnitude was recorded Sept. 19 about four miles southwest of Luther. It hit about 5 p.m. and could be felt in Luther, Jones, Oklahoma City, Arcadia, Harrah, Edmond and Choctaw. Oct. 13, 2010: The epicenter of a magnitude 4.7 quake Oct. 13 was about eight miles southeast of Norman, south of Lake Thunderbird near E Post Oak Road and 84th Avenue SE. Oct. 19, 2010: A magnitude-2.6 earthquake centered seven miles southeast of Norman was reported Oct. 19. Nov. 24: A 4.2-magnitude quake occurred about 4:45 p.m. Nov. 24 in central Oklahoma, and a second quake at 3.2 magnitude hit the same area about an hour later. The epicenter of the first quake was about four miles southwest of Luther and 19 miles east-northeast of Oklahoma City, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. Nov. 25: A 2.5-magnitude quake was recorded about 10:09 a.m. Nov. 25 with the epicenter about three miles east of Arcadia. Another 2.8-magnitude earthquake followed about a minute later, centered about four miles from Arcadia. December: A small earthquake was recorded for the second time in four days near Allen in Pontotoc County, about 75 miles southeast of Oklahoma City. The U.S. Geological Survey recorded the 2.8-magnitude quake at 3:49 a.m. Dec. 24. A 2.5-magnitude quake was recorded in the same area Dec. 20.
Jan. 15: A 3.4-magnitude earthquake struck near Jones early Jan. 15, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. The 4:50 a.m. quake's epicenter was about three miles southeast of Jones and 17 miles east-northeast of Oklahoma City. Feb. 3: At 8:06 p.m. Feb. 3, a magnitude-2.5 quake was felt between N Air Depot and N Midwest Boulevard between NE 23 and NE 10. Feb. 4: At 1:30 a.m. Feb. 4, a magnitude-2.3 quake was felt by about 10 people who reported it from the same area as the previous day. The quakes were about three miles below the surface. July 29: The Oklahoma Geological Survey said six small earthquakes were recorded July 29 near Choctaw. The survey said the largest was magnitude 2.7 and was recorded at 10:45 p.m. Aug. 7: Two quakes struck south of Oklahoma City on Aug. 7, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. The first quake occurred shortly after 2:30 a.m. and had an estimated magnitude of 2.0. Its epicenter was about 10 miles from Oklahoma City. The survey reported the second one happened about 8 a.m. with a magnitude of 2.3. Its epicenter was 15 miles southeast of Oklahoma City. Geologists say earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 to 3 are generally the smallest felt by humans. Aug. 23: An earthquake with a magnitude of 2.8 was recorded in eastern Oklahoma County on Aug. 23, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake hit two miles south of Jones and four miles north-northwest of Choctaw about 4:40 p.m. Oct. 18: On Oct. 18, a 2.9-magnitude earthquake shook the ground in the Oklahoma City area and was reportedly felt by nearly 300 people, with reports coming from Shawnee, Wellston and as far away as Claremore — about 190 miles from the epicenter. Oct. 23: Two small earthquakes were reported early Oct. 23 in the Oklahoma City area, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The larger of the two reportedly struck at 12:45 a.m., about six miles southeast of Oklahoma City. The 2.5-magnitude earthquake netted 22 reports from nearby residents in Oklahoma City, Choctaw and Spencer, the USGS reported. A 2.2-magnitude quake occurred at roughly 3 a.m. and was reportedly felt by 10 residents in Oklahoma City and Spencer. The smaller quake struck about 13 miles northeast of Oklahoma City. Saturday: A 4.7-magnitude earthquake that hit at 2:12 a.m. Saturday was initially thought to be the main shock until the 5.6-magnitude quake struck later in the day. The epicenter was in Lincoln County, but the tremors were felt throughout Oklahoma and in other states.
SOURCES: U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, OKLAHOMA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, THE OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES
As always, any questions, comments or feedback is always appreciated.