The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

December 16, 2013

3.8 magnitude earthquake hits near Caldwell, Kan.

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — A 3.8 magnitude earthquake reported 11 miles west/northwest of Caldwell, Kan., about 9 a.m. Monday morning was felt in Enid.

Bailee Kirkpatrick said on the Enid News & Eagle’s Facebook page she was awakened by the walls rattling and felt her bed moving slightly.

“Kinda loud,” she wrote.

Oklahoma Geological Survey confirmed the earthquake, but said it is unlikely any severe damage occurred. Austin Holland, OGS research seismologist, said he was unaware of any damage.

The quake originally was reported as a 4.2 magnitude, but later was downgraded by U.S. Geological Survey to 3.8 magnitude.

Oklahoma is having more earthquakes than in the past, and Holland said the state will set a record for the number of earthquakes this year.

“We’re having more earthquakes a year than we’ve ever had. It’s a pretty dramatic number,” he said.

In the past 40 years, Oklahoma has had 1,600 earthquakes and OGS has recorded 2,000 earthquakes this year.

“We’ve certainly seen a significant increase,” Holland said.

The reason for the increase is an ongoing research question, he said. He said there is some indication some earthquakes may have been caused by hydraulic fracturing, but that is not the largest factor. Researchers also are looking into other possibilities, he said.

“It’s far too early to say. There is a lot of work to do to verify,” Holland said. “It’s hard to verify in the earth because you can’t see in the earth. It’s more challenging to work out effects of the cause.

“If I knew and could say for certain and something was doing it and it was manmade, we would try to make that action stop,” Holland said.

Ramey Holsten said on the News & Eagle Facebook page she was at home when she felt the earthquake.

“It was a few seconds of rumbling with the walls and the floor. The dogs barked like crazy, but it was nothing like the ones I experienced in California,” Holsten wrote. “Number wise I couldn’t tell you, but they feel way different. In California, it was more of a rolling/wavy feeling.”

“Kremlin felt it. Strong enough to wake up a teenager from sleep,” wrote Tracy Milne Bittle.

The earthquake also was felt in Jet, and Alicia Johnson Renfrow reported she felt it nine miles south of Caldwell.

“I couldn’t feel the motion, but things were moving on the shelf and it sounded like pebbles rolling down the roof,” Renfrow wrote.

There also are reports of the quake being felt between Pond Creek and Nash and near Manchester.