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.

Post by:
Filed under: Earthquake • Natural Disasters • Oklahoma
soundoff (341 Responses)
  1. cajr

    having lived in southern cal all my life, i would worry more about flying in a plane than an earthquake. or even the l.a. traffic for that matter.

    November 7, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • LaLa

      But because of frequent tremors in SoCal, you have building codes to help structures withstand earthquakes. Not so in OK.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      After the 5.8 here in Virginia, we got a lot of Californians extolling their experience with earthquakes and the triviality of it. There's nothing trivial about your chimney coming crashing into your living room! Keep your smugness where it belongs! It's like after the 9/11 attacks when the people over in the middle east were saying how they deal with terrorism all the time and downplayed it. It's based on your perspective – don't trivialize someone's extraordinary experiences.

      November 7, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Makapuu

    Any natural gas fracking near the fault zone?

    November 7, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Show me yours and I'll show you mine

      Good question!

      November 7, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Mahhn

      Yes, and the USGS said that is the likely cause, but they advertise on CNN so they didn't report it.

      November 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • mel


      November 7, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Alisha

    Nah, all the crap is up in DC.

    November 7, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  4. JOE

    Dante's Peak! Great movie!

    November 7, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. Old Driller w/no TV

    @mineral guy...Hogwash. You claim that 15,840 is deep for a US well. Horesh!t. Even when I was a pup roughbecking on Parker 119, the 6th largest rig on earth at the time, we drilled a well near Rock Springs, Wyo that took over 2 years to TD deeper then 24,000 ft. deep. And as a drilling consultant for ARCO, we drilled the deepest well EVER drilled using the environment-friendly 'Aerated Fluid' drilling technique. It took us over a year and a half to drill, and even thoigh we had to plug-back to 19-4 and then 18-6, it still holds the world record. George Goward was the company man, and I was the drilling consultant they called "Hollywood Cash Acme" because I wore sunglasses at night rather than day, and I always kept at least a thousand bucks cash in my pocket. (the 'cash acme valve' is where the rest of my monker came from) I'm retired from the oilpatch now, and you, sir, are full of sh!t.

    November 7, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  6. Tom

    Aftershocks after a moderately sized earthquake? Who ever heard of such an idea?

    November 7, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Actually, quite common. After the 5.8 here in Virginia, we've had 45 aftershocks over M2.0. They're expecting them to continue for quite some time, although they're becoming less and less frequent.

      November 7, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • pmn

      Ok might be a note of saracasm there. Yes, there are aftershocks after an earthquake.

      November 7, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • driranek

      How do we know that the 5.6 quake wasn't a foreshock to a really huge quake?

      November 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Walker

    Frack frack frack

    November 7, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • sonic10158

      Mother Fracking fracking

      November 7, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. RUFFNUTT ( Somalian pirate & fisherman & kcmo resident )

    god is angry with ok.. cause of all the turkey poaching..

    November 7, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  9. mjluck

    holy holy they just had a 6.9

    November 7, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Uh... no.

      November 7, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Robot

    OK is about to make history.

    November 7, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • driranek

      Now that would be a first. Whatcha think they're gonna do, fall into the ocean?

      November 7, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Old Driller w/no TV

    ...but yeah, Oklahoma wells ARE just a bunch of post holes. he he...that recird of mine was set in SW Utah...about an hour from Brian Head Ski Resort where George Goward had me take his daughter Anne skiing. She was engaged to this little puke of a man who couldn't even pull slips during a connection without hurting his scrawny little back. Needless to say, she didn't marry the twinkie. She didn't marry me either, Hollywood Cash Acme wasn't the marrying kind back then. George surely did appreciate my efforts, both on and off location. What makes this well so special is we didn't have computers. It used to take me an hour ea. morning to calculate the molecular volume of compressed air mixed with drilling fluid using my handy Texas Instruments slide rule. Without accurate calculatuons, we never would have made it that deep. Oklahoma! Where trees are made o' wood, and oilwells are as deep as post holes. LMAO (hay Joey 🙂 )

    November 7, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • chandra

      shut up

      November 7, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Big_D

    What the frack is going on in Oklahoma?

    November 7, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  13. CaptainObvious

    Next CNN Headline:
    Nightime to follow daytime in the west.

    November 7, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  14. mjluck

    And I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance

    November 7, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  15. Big_D

    This is just a coincidence just like the tremors in Pennsylvania and Colorado on the oil fields.

    November 7, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12