The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

July 1, 2013

4 quakes recorded in Enid area

By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

— Several small earthquakes were reported near Enid Monday.

According to the Oklahoma Geological Survey Observatory, instruments recorded a 3.2 magnitude quake at 3:19 a.m. near Lamont. Less than an hour later, at 4:11 a.m., a second quake, 3.5 magnitude, was recorded in Hunter. A third earthquake with a 2.7 magnitude was recorded at 10:14 a.m. in Kremlin, and a fourth was recorded at 3:30 p.m. with a magnitude of 2.5 in Pond Creek.

Garfield County Sheriff Jerry Niles said his office had received no reports of damage.

Kremlin resident Lindsay Toews said she was up with her 4-month-old son and felt each of the quakes.

“I was awake for all of them,” she said. “The whole house shook. There was no damage. Nothing fell or broke or anything, but the whole house shook.”

Toews said she had felt other earthquakes before those Monday and figured that’s what the noises had to be.

“My husband heard the last one and he said, ‘What in the world was that?’ That was the loudest one to me,”  she said. “This is the loudest it’s ever been.”

Oklahoma Geological Survey research seismologist Austin Holland said the quakes in northwest Oklahoma Monday were an effect of plate tectonics.

“Oklahoma is being squeezed from east to west,” he said. “That’s what’s causing these earthquakes. It’s partly an effect of plate tectonics.”

He said there are a lot of fault lines throughout the state, but not all have been identified.

“There’s a lot of fault lines in Oklahoma,” he said. “Some of them we know about, but most of them we do not. We’re trying to improve our knowledge by identifying those faults.”

Holland said most of the known faults are east of Enid, along the Interstate 35 corridor. This includes a large fault that runs from central Oklahoma into southern Nebraska, called the Nemaha Fault.

Northwest Oklahoma has felt earthquakes in the past.

In 2009, two quakes a few months apart were felt by people in Garfield County. One, a 3.2-magnitude quake, was centered two miles south-southwest of Lahoma on Feb. 22. The other, a 3.6-magnitude tremor, was centered seven miles east-northeast of Covington on June 26. Neither caused any damage.

And, residents in Garfield County felt the strongest earthquake ever recorded in Oklahoma, the 5.6-magnitude quake on Nov. 5, 2011. It was centered north of Prague and injured two people, destroyed 14 homes and caused damage over a wide area in central Oklahoma. It was felt in 17 states, according to U.S. Geological Survey.

Earthquakes with a magnitude of 2.5 to 3.0 generally are the smallest felt by humans.