November 7th, 2011
10:30 AM ET

Oklahoma can expect more quake aftershocks, USGS says

Aftershocks from Saturday's 5.6-magnitude earthquake in Oklahoma are likely to continue for weeks or even months, the U.S. Geological Survey says, but rattled residents can expect them to decrease in intensity.

The USGS says dozens of aftershocks from the temblor, and a 4.7-magnitude foreshock, have been recorded since the 5.6 quake hit at 10:53 CT Saturday night.

The Oklahoma Geological Survey says the quake was the largest ever to strike in the state, topping a 5.5-magnitude temblor that struck on April 9, 1952.

Saturday's quake was centered about four miles east of Sparks, in Lincoln County, Oklahoma. The USGS says on its website that it has not been able to determine what fault line the quake occurred on, but scientists are focusing on the Wilzetta fault, which they describe as one of a series of small faults that formed in the area about 300 million years ago. If the Wilzetta fault did rupture Saturday, it would be the first time a surface-rupturing quake has been recorded on it.

All previous surface-rupturing quakes in Oklahoma have occurred on the Meers fault, in the south-central portion of the state, the USGS says.

Damage from Saturday's quake was slight, with The Oklahoman newspaper reporting minor damage to 12 homes and a buckling of U.S. Highway 62 near the epicenter in Lincoln County.

But the quake was anything but minor to one couple whose home sits near the epicenter. The chimney of Joe and Mary Reneau's home came crashing through their roof in Prague, Oklahoma, CNN affiliate KJRH-TV reported.

"Wham! It wasn't just a sudden bang,” Joe Reneau told KJRH. “This house was rocking and rolling."

But it wasn't just people that the quake stirred up. Birds and bugs were so rattled that they took to flight in massive numbers, enough to show up the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's weather radar, CNN affiliate KTUL-TV reported. Check out the radar images here.

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Filed under: Earthquake • Natural Disasters • Oklahoma
soundoff (341 Responses)
  1. OMG!

    A tsunami was just reported in Lake of the Ozarks......check Fox News

    November 7, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. todd in muskogee oklahoma

    why do people alway have to chalk things up to god why blame it on your imaginary friend that lives in the sky with his son hum... that's what i want to believe in a horrible painful death before i have everlasting life you can have it

    November 7, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Randy from Tulsa

      I agree Todd,I think it's laughable that all the religeous zealots come out of the woodwork to say it was God-What a pant load! Every time something happens like this they always say "God was looking out for us" Thank God this,Thank god that, Wake up people,what if 100 innocent babies were killed in the quake??? would it be gods will?? bull sheet. Religeon is nothing more than a money-making racket for weak minded people to grasp onto something because they have a hard time accepting death.They just can't accept that when you die-you die! And how about all the idiots that say"I know grandpa joe is looking down on us etc,etc..Really??? Thats what dead people do all day and night?? float around in the sky watching people??? get a clue bible thumpers.

      November 7, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jagged

      Gods will, will be done, wether you concur or not.
      Holy, holy, holy.
      "Every knee shall bend. . . "
      Your knee will bend.

      November 7, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • MRK

      @Jagged: Get a clue. Some people don't believe there is a god. Therefore your logic means nothing.

      November 7, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • denim

      Randy, what else have they got to do? From what I understand of the Christian afterlife, it sounds horribly boring.

      November 7, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Earl Weaver

      I don't believe in atheism.

      November 7, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      I get that Christians can be self absorbed and a bit pushy, but isn't it just as self absorbed and pushy to lose your mind over somebody else's beliefs or thoughts on life, science, the afterlife, etc? I mean do we have any proof that there ISN'T a god? I'm always amazed at how quickly the fundamentalist atheists show up on a post that has NOTHING to do with religion. It's like they're scouting out anybody who might have a religious point of view. Get over yourself. : (

      November 7, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fairplay99

      Todd and Randy, why are you so ate up over it? Just move on. After all you are racing towards annihilation. Grab as much as you can before you go.

      November 7, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mel

    They were Fracking for Natural Gas. They've had quakes in the area for some time due to Fracking, but it seems they really screwed up. This is the largest quake from Fracking that I know of. It's been banned in England due to quakes, and Arkansas (no new ones that is).

    November 7, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Quid Malborg in Plano TX

      No they weren't. No fracking in the epicenter vicinity. The quake was also greater by over two orders of magnitude than what is assumed to be produced by fracking operations. The quake was a perfectly natural occurrance. What part of that don't you understand? Or do you discount anything and everything that you don't agree with?

      November 7, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Don Lee

    Fracking is a likely cause. It also destroys ground water. It is a bad idea.

    November 7, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Earl Weaver

      Thank-you Mr. Expert Geologist.

      November 7, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Quid Malborg in Plano TX

      "Fracking is a likely cause." Some relevant evidence to support that blind statement would be appreciated. I take it that you've formal training as a geologist/engineer?

      November 7, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fairplay99

      Quid, actually they are just having a fracking good time.

      November 7, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Where theres fracking, there's earthquakes nearby. It always happens.

      problem is when you frack and you are in a region with a fault line, you loosed up that fault.

      November 9, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Morgan

    Pumping liquid in the ground to liquefy the rock that holds natural gas wouldn't cause an earthquake, or maybe it would

    November 7, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. us1776

    Frack a few more wells. Maybe we can get some earthquakes over in Tennessee even.


    November 7, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Paul lytle

    If these people are so smart at predicting more earthquakes in Oklahoma why shall we believe them? They couldn't predict the earthquake that just happened!

    November 7, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Quid Malborg in Plano TX

      Because a series of aftershocks always follows the largest quake. Check out the USGS website and examine the data for the Mineral VA quake of Agust 25, 2011. There were aftershocks for over a week.

      It's called SCIENCE, and guess what- IT WORKS!!!

      November 7, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Quid Malborg in Plano TX

    I see that the anti-fracking, anti-science, anti-reason crowd is out in force. "Fracking causes earthquake. an earthquake just happened. Therefore fracking caused the earthquake." Anyone who believes this is against reason and rational thought.

    November 7, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oh for Pete's sake!

      What is your love affair with fracking? Just curious, as you seem to be very anti anti-fracters.

      November 7, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Quid Malborg in Plano TX

      I am anti-fracking and pro-reason. The anti-fracking crowd are largely ignorant of science and are alarmist for the sake of touting their own paranoid agenda. Why would you even think that I have a "love affair" with fracking when I've never recommended or supported it?

      November 7, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      I'm guessing you are working for an oil outfit there in TX??

      November 7, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Quid Malborg in Plano TX

      Elizabeth: You guessed wrong. I'm an environmental consultant who has spent 20+ years assessing and cleaning up environmental contamination, as opposed to whining and complaining about it like the New Age crowd does. Why would you assume that I work for an oil company in TX? Never even been to TX as a matter of fact. Google "Quid Malmborg in Plano" if you're curious about my screen name.


      November 7, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      More like Clown Shoes

      November 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. smdahl

    Stanford and MIT both published studies concluding that "fracking", hydrofracturing, causes earthquakes. Don't believe the oil industry shills who deny it.

    November 7, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Chris

    So, I have no idea what caused such. Sounds like no one else does either.

    However, if fracking or other methods seem to "coincidentally" be followed by anomalies like these, why not pose the question? Why be so adamant about either side of the possibility? Perhaps, it does. Perhaps, not. Anyone who says they know outright of either should immediately stand up and be a good American. What's the scoop?

    It is odd, check. It is after fracking, check. It is worthy of discussion, check. It is increasing, check.

    Let's all quit the banter and just find out as much as we can. Simple. Nothing more.

    November 7, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Quid Malborg in Plano TX

      There was fracking? Where? Not in the epicenter vicinity. "So, I have no idea what caused such. Sounds like no one else does either." Speak for yourself. There are plenty of sound explanations that don't involve fracking.

      November 7, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Quid Malborg in Plano TX

    Another hypothesis is that the cause of the recent series of earthquakes is isostatic rebound from the last glaciation (Wisconsinan, c. 14,000 yrs ago). The epicenter is in an area south of and adjacent to an area that was formerly covered by continental glaciers, which depressed the land to the north (that is to say the ice sheets pushed the land downwards). Once the glaciers melted stress is released slowly over time as the land then shifts upwards, resulting in earthquakes along pre-existing faults in the bedrock. These faults pre-date the glacial period by many millions of years. The recent earthquake is of the expected magnitude (5.0+). Smaller quakes will continue to occur as the remainder of the stress is released.

    There are many different causes of earthquakes. Those caused by fracking are on a scale of at least two orders of magnitude lower than the recent quakes. That is a known fact. AFAIK there were no fracking operations in the vicinity of the epicenter. Therefore, it is not likely (nay, impossible) that fracking caused this earthquake. HTH!

    November 7, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. behere

    Retribution for the invasion of Libya the Lie for saying we were protecting civilians while killing over 3,000 of them dropping over 28,000 bombs on them or one for every 340 people in the country.. If Obomba can tell the truth and admit that and say he is sorry less disasters will happen

    November 7, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Quid Malborg in Plano TX

      BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Funniest comment I've read all evening!

      November 7, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • behere

      if you look at recent history since the invasion of Libya you will see that their is no laughing matter.Most tornadoes in one month 2,000 record floods, record heat and drought, over 5 million acres burnt, hurricane and floods plus recent snow that has wiped the upper east coast out of electricity.. Sorry but the small countries cant fight back but natural disasters will do it for them.. More earthquakes to come laugher

      November 7, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Quid Malborg in Plano TX

      Wouldn't happen to have any rational thoughts on occasion do you? You're displaying what's known as magical thinking.

      November 7, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Roman

    If you dont believe I exist, then you wont mind if I take some liberty with your way of life. But, I will give you a chance to change your ways. Read this blog,, it is My Truth. What happened to Me at St. Paul orphanage.

    November 7, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Hogwash

    Dear Old Driller With No/TV:

    Can you say "I disagree, and here's why:" instead of dragging me into the conversation?

    Better yet, just say "bullsh!t". Blame the bulls. They're bullies anyway.


    November 7, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. my2cents

    Let's hope fracking doesn't set off the New Meridian fault. Shame on each and every elected government official who turns a blind eye to this! There should be a moratorium on fracking.

    November 7, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • my2cents

      Oops – make that the "New Madrid" fault.

      November 8, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
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