Quakes rum­ble cen­tral Ok­la­homa

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS -

STROUD, Okla. — The U.S. Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey says sev­eral earth­quakes struck cen­tral Ok­la­homa on Fri­day morn­ing, in­clud­ing one with a pre­lim­i­nary mag­ni­tude of 4.2.

State and lo­cal emer­gency man­age­ment of­fi­cials said there have been no re­ports of in­jury or dam­age as a re­sult of any of the tem­blors.

The USGS said the quake hit shortly be­fore 9 a.m. near Stroud, about 55 miles north­east of Ok­la­homa City and was felt in western Arkansas and Wi­chita, Kan.

It was fol­lowed within about 75 min­utes by five more earth­quakes of pre­lim­i­nary mag­ni­tudes rang­ing from 2.7 to 3.8.

The quakes struck within about 10 miles of a pri­vately run pri­son, the Ci­mar­ron Cor­rec­tional Fa­cil­ity. A woman who an­swered the phone at the pri­son de­clined to com­ment and a spokesman for the par­ent com­pany, Nash­ville, Tenn.- based CoreCivic, didn’t im­me­di­ately re­turn a phone call for com­ment.

Sci­en­tists have linked some oil and gas pro­duc­tion in Ok­la­homa to an uptick in earth­quakes, but the fre­quency of such earth­quakes in Ok­la­homa had dropped re­cently as the state im­posed new re­stric­tions on the in­jec­tion of waste­water into un­der­ground dis­posal wells.

The Ok­la­homa Cor­po­ra­tion Com­mis­sion’s in­duced seis­mic­ity depart­ment is work­ing with the Ok­la­homa Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey to in­ves­ti­gate the quakes, ac­cord­ing to com­mis­sion spokesman Matt Skin­ner. But the agency has not is­sued a di­rec­tive to shut down any dis­posal wells in the area, which is part of what is known as the Ar­buckle for­ma­tion.

“Ev­ery­thing is still in the ini­tial stages right now,” Skin­ner said, “but that (shut­ter­ing some wells) is a dis­tinct pos­si­bil­ity.”

Skin­ner said there are eight dis­posal wells within 10 miles of the pre­lim­i­nary lo­ca­tion of the tem­blors and the Ok­la­homa Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey will de­ter­mine the pre­cise epi­cen­ters of the quakes.

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