Earthquakes in Oklahoma are the new normal

After three years of earthquakes in Oklahoma, a little temblor now and then is no reason to freak all the way out.
by Richard Mize Modified: November 9, 2013 at 7:00 pm •  Published: November 9, 2013
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Oh? Another earthquake? Yawwwn.

How fast I've become nonchalant. At 9:06 a.m. on Oct. 13, 2010 — my first quake, and the second one in Oklahoma since 1995 to get widespread attention — I was not so blase.

I happened to be working at home that morning, in my swivel recliner, and it felt like riding a Tilt-a-Whirl. I jumped up, and the floor still had a swiveling-twisting-rotating kind of thing going on for another few seconds.

I didn't quite freak out. I freaked right up to, but not all the way, out. Facebook erupted and I joined in.

•  “Did I just feel an earthquaje???” — see? “Earthquaje.” Clearly, I was rattled.

•  “I felt the freaking house/earth twist under me, then boom and dishes rattled. Eames, secondary kitty, looked at me w a wth look.”

•  “We should all say a lil prayer for the New Madrid Fault Line!”

After two hours of sharing the near-freakout with Facebook friends far and near, we all freaked firmly back in and I got back to work.

Then, later, on news that it was a 5.1-magnitude quake, second largest in state history (later downgraded to 4.3): “Yowza. ... But let's put this in terms Okies can understand. ... Hmm ... I reckon this might woulda been an EF0 on the Enhanced Fujita?”

That was then. Most of us were earthquake newbies. So last Monday night's quake — 10:01 p.m., 3.9 magnitude — brought just a smattering of Facebook posts, and just one from me:

•  “Yessir, the earth herself just hove and rattled those dishes on those shelves.”

See, I've gotten used to seeing earthquakes in the news. They can still be nerve-wracking — and, so far anyway — we've felt nothing like the ones that make Californians scoff.


by Richard Mize
Real Estate Editor
Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked...
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