Seven separate earthquakes which rocked various places across the state of Oklahoma has left residents worried. ABC News has confirmed that except for one earthquake which measured 4.3 on the Richter scale, all the others were minor earthquakes that ranged from 2.6 to 3.2 in magnitude. The sequence of these earthquakes started on Saturday when the area of Langston was hit by three separate earthquakes. Worst affected in the region was Logan County, situated north of Oklahoma City. There were no reports of injury on Saturday, though.
On Sunday, four more earthquakes were recorded. These were centered in the Guthrie, Jones and Langston areas and ranged from magnitude 2.6 to 2.9. The US geological Survey (USGS) has confirmed that all earthquakes were recorded between 7:57 p.m. Saturday and 9:51 a.m. on Sunday. There has been no reports of damage or injury on Sunday either. That however hasn’t left citizens any less worried.
According to KSAT, residents across Oklahoma are worried about the fact that their state has managed to surpass California in the number of earthquakes registered this year. This was as per data from June. Oklahoma had recorded over 207 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or more by June 16, compared to just 140 in California. There has been a huge increase in seismic activity in the region if we look at historical data. From 2009, the state as seen a steady increase in the number of earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or more. There were 20 such earthquakes in 2009 followed by 43 in 2010. The number has been increasing since then with only 2012 being an exception.
CNN meteorologist Chad Meyers has warned Oklahoma residents to be prepared for earthquakes becoming a normal part of everyday life across the state.
“Earthquakes are going to be a normal part of everyday life in Oklahoma. They are going to become more and more a part of life there.”
All said, it might as well be noted that most earthquakes below 4 on the Richter scale rarely cause damage and should not be a cause of concern in normal circumstances. But it is the sheer number of earthquakes that has been happening in Oklahoma that the residents are more worried about.
The USGS has in the meantime confirmed that all the earthquakes in Oklahoma were shallow in nature and occurred 5 miles below the surface. Earthquakes in California in comparison are known to go much deeper – even 50 miles, in some cases.
While there were reports of these earthquakes being caused by an increase in the amount of Fracking being done in the region, there have been inconclusive evidence that point to that possibility. Data from the USGS monthly survey would be studied with great interest to check if the increase in fracking is indeed causing an increase in the number of earthquakes in Oklahoma. Until then, we can simply speculate.
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