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Oklahoma earthquakes

by Jim Beckel and Nate Billings Modified: September 28, 2013 at 6:15 am •  Published: November 7, 2011
Tina Hackbarth hugs her daughter, Mercedes Oslin, 17, when Oslin began crying as she walked through the damage in her grandparents' dining room. An eathquake late Saturday night caused extensive damage to the two-story ranch-style home of Joseph and Mary Reneau near the community of Sparks in Lincoln County.  Contents inside their home were damaged earlier Saturday when an earthquake struck the same area.  Hackbarth is the Reneaus' daughter. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
Tina Hackbarth hugs her daughter, Mercedes Oslin, 17, when Oslin began crying as she walked through the damage in her grandparents' dining room. An eathquake late Saturday night caused extensive damage to the two-story ranch-style home of Joseph and Mary Reneau near the community of Sparks in Lincoln County. Contents inside their home were damaged earlier Saturday when an earthquake struck the same area. Hackbarth is the Reneaus' daughter. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

Most of you have probably heard about the recent earthquakes in Oklahoma (or just felt them). We don’t have much experience covering earthquakes in this state, especially since most of the ones we have had caused very little damage that is visual. Jim Beckel’s search for visuals on Saturday to illustrate an early-morning earthquake led him to a couple who would suffer damage from earthquakes twice in two days.

While trying to get a visual angle after the tremor early Saturday morning, Beckel found some researchers with the OU School of Geology and Geophysics placing instruments in the ground in Lincoln County near the epicenter. The researchers led him to Mary and Joseph Reneau, who had some of their china and keepsakes broken in Saturday morning’s earthquake of 4.7 magnitude. Jim didn’t expect to be back at the Reneau’s home the next day, but that’s what happened after a magnitude 5.6 earthquake occurred Saturday night. This time there was extensive damage to the Reneau’s home.

To see more photos from the Reneau’s home and other damage in the state , click here.

Homeowner Joseph Reneau, third from left, shows friends the damage caused to his home's family room after the chimney toppled onto the roof, creating a large hole in the ceiling. An earthquake late Saturday night caused extensive damage to the two-story ranch-style home of Joseph and Mary Reneau near the community of Sparks in Lincoln County. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
Homeowner Joseph Reneau, third from left, shows friends the damage caused to his home's family room after the chimney toppled onto the roof, creating a large hole in the ceiling. An earthquake late Saturday night caused extensive damage to the two-story ranch-style home of Joseph and Mary Reneau near the community of Sparks in Lincoln County. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
Graduate student Gabriel Mattei digs beneath a box held up by Katie Keranen, an assistant professor at the OU School of Geology and Geophysics,  as the two place a seismometer and this recording device into the ground on the property of Joseph and Mary Reneau Saturday afternoon, Nov. 5. , 2011.  The pair are accompanied by Austin Holland, left, a research seismologist with the Oklahoma Geological Survey.  They are placing the devices on the Reneau property after an earthquake rattled the area in the area in the early morning hours Saturday.  The Reneaus  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. Holland placed the quake's epicenter within two to three miles of the Reneau home.   Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
Graduate student Gabriel Mattei digs beneath a box held up by Katie Keranen, an assistant professor at the OU School of Geology and Geophysics, as the two place a seismometer and this recording device into the ground on the property of Joseph and Mary Reneau Saturday afternoon, Nov. 5. , 2011. The pair are accompanied by Austin Holland, left, a research seismologist with the Oklahoma Geological Survey. They are placing the devices on the Reneau property after an earthquake rattled the area in the area in the early morning hours Saturday. The Reneaus 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. Holland placed the quake's epicenter within two to three miles of the Reneau home. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

-Nate Billings

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by Jim Beckel
Photographer
Jim Beckel been a member of The Oklahoman's photo staff for 25 years. During that time, he and his cameras have covered virtually every type of news and feature story imaginable, traveling to all regions of Oklahoma to document events and provide...
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by Nate Billings
Photographer
Nate Billings never planned to become a photojournalist. He took pictures as a hobby growing up and worked as an assistant for his father, a commercial still and video photographer, but chose to study English Literature in college. Billings did...
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