Record 5.6 magnitude earthquake shakes Oklahoma

The Saturday night earthquake had a magnitude of 5.6, and its epicenter was four miles east of Sparks in Lincoln County, according to the Oklahoma Geological Survey. The quake hit at 10:53 p.m., and it was reportedly felt as far away as Illinois, Kansas, Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas.
By Matt Dinger and Matt Patterson, Staff Writers Modified: November 6, 2011 at 1:08 am •  Published: November 6, 2011

photo - Mary Reneau talks with her husband on the telephone while she looks at the floor of her dining room, now littered with broken china, glassware and other sentimental keepsakes that were damaged when  tossed to the floor during an earthquake in the early morning hours of Saturday, Nov. 5. , 2011.  Doors of her furniture flew open and drawers were edged slightly open during the quake.  Mary and her husband, Joseph were awakened around 2:15 a.m. when their house shook and items began falling off the walls and form shelves and cabinets inside their two-story brick ranch-style  home in rural Lincoln County, about  six miles northwest of Prague.  Austin Holland, a seismologist with the Oklahoma Geological Survey, placed the quake's epicenter within two to three miles of the Reneau home.  The Reneaus have lived in their house for 25 years. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman  ORG XMIT: KOD
Mary Reneau talks with her husband on the telephone while she looks at the floor of her dining room, now littered with broken china, glassware and other sentimental keepsakes that were damaged when tossed to the floor during an earthquake in the early morning hours of Saturday, Nov. 5. , 2011. Doors of her furniture flew open and drawers were edged slightly open during the quake. Mary and her husband, Joseph were awakened around 2:15 a.m. when their house shook and items began falling off the walls and form shelves and cabinets inside their two-story brick ranch-style home in rural Lincoln County, about six miles northwest of Prague. Austin Holland, a seismologist with the Oklahoma Geological Survey, placed the quake's epicenter within two to three miles of the Reneau home. The Reneaus have lived in their house for 25 years. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD
The largest earthquake ever recorded in the state of Oklahoma struck Saturday night, officials said.

The quake had a magnitude of 5.6, and its epicenter was four miles east of Sparks in Lincoln County, according to the Oklahoma Geological Survey. The quake hit at 10:53 p.m.

The quake was reportedly felt as far away as Illinois, Kansas, Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas.

“There’s a crack going from the closet to the ceiling. I’ve never seen that before. I was in my bedroom grabbing my phone and I happened to notice it,” Moore resident Todd McKinsey said.

McKinsey said he lives near NW 12 and Santa Fe Avenue.

“That’s drywall. It’s totally separated,” he said.

“Earthquake damage in Oklahoma, that’s an anomaly right there,” McKinsey said.

“The picture by the TV fell off the wall, and we jumped up because we thought somebody had hit the house,” Noeh Morales said.

“It was like a roaring noise. I’ve never one that bad over here,” he said.

Morales said he was asleep at his home near SW 69 and Pennsylvania Avenue in Oklahoma City.

“It woke me out of a dead sleep. I felt the whole house shaking. I jumped and ran outside to see what was going on,” he said.

The strongest earthquake previously reported was April 9, 1952, in El Reno, according to the geological survey. Its magnitude was 5.50.

Michelann Ooten, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, said no injuries were reported to emergency management officials and she had no reports of major damages.

The Lincoln County sheriff’s office said late Saturday that damage has been reported across the county, but officials still were responding to calls and were not sure of the extent of damage.

The Lincoln County emergency manager reported portions of U.S. 62 have buckled and the chimney on a two-story house collapsed near Prague. A boulder also rolled onto a roadway in the area, the emergency manager told The Tulsa World. Other buildings have been damaged, and further assessments will be made after daylight.

"It was a pretty ornery little earthquake," said Joey Wakefield, Lincoln County's emergency manager.

The Oklahoma City Fire Department reported no injuries or serious damage as of 11:15 p.m.

Prague rattled

Earlier Saturday, a 4.8 magnitude earthquake rattled central Oklahoma, causing damage to some homes and businesses in Prague.

“It was very loud,” Lincoln County resident Mary Reneau said. “The big grandfather clock we have stopped at 2:15 a.m. It was bad enough that it stopped that clock. That’s really something. My heart goes out to these people who go through these very big quakes. I couldn’t imagine what that is like.”

The U.S. Geological Survey said the initial quake was centered about six miles north of Prague at 2:12 a.m.

That quake was followed by a series of aftershocks. A 3.4 magnitude aftershock was felt moments later, followed by another 2.7 magnitude aftershock about five miles southeast of Sparks. Sparks is in Lincoln County.

Oklahoma Geological Survey seismologist Austin Holland said there have%been at least 40 aftershocks recorded since the initial event.

Holland spent Saturday installing several temporary seismic stations in and around Prague. He said the quake was the result of movement along the Seminole Uplift Structure.

“It’s a very complicated fault structure, but it is very prominent in its geological signature,” Holland said.

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