An earthquake Saturday afternoon that shook the Oklahoma City area likely was one of the largest recorded in the state's history, an Oklahoma Geological Survey seismologist said.
The quake occurred at 12:10 p.m. about four miles northwest of Jones, just east of Arcadia Lake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was felt in cities including Norman, Edmond, Oklahoma City and Guthrie.
The U.S. Geological Survey said it occurred about 5 miles deep. It was recorded as a magnitude-4.5 earthquake.
The Oklahoma Geological Survey measured it as a stronger, magnitude-4.8 quake.
The largest quake previously recorded in the southern Arcadia Lake area registered at 3.8, said Austin Holland, a geologist with the Oklahoma Geological Survey.
At 1:26 p.m., a magnitude-2.8 aftershock was recorded about 3 miles southeast of Edmond, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Another aftershock, with a magnitude of 3.1, was recorded at 5:58 p.m., about 4 miles east of The Village and 6 miles south of Edmond, the survey reported.
Reports of damage
Keli Cain, a spokeswoman with the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, said no reports of injuries or damage from the quake had been received by the agency Saturday afternoon.
Dan Barth, chief information officer for OPUBCO Communications Group, was watching the Bedlam game on television at his Edmond home near Memorial and Coltrane roads, about 5 miles from Jones, when the earthquake rumbled.
Barth said picture frames and Christmas decorations fell off the walls, bathroom cabinets came open, and cups fell out of kitchen cabinets.
“This is the first time we've ever had damage, so it was kind of shocking. It was a mess,” he said. “We were watching the Bedlam game, and we saw our Pistol Pete fall off the wall. I thought, ‘That's not a good sign.'”
At Edmond Wine Shop in Edmond, the quake knocked a framed picture down, knocking a few bottles of whiskey to the floor and breaking them, said John Enterline, assistant manager.
“It wasn't a raining of bottles off the shelves or anything,” he said.
Although Saturday was the first time the shop had seen any earthquake damage, Enterline said the liquor store is a tense place to be during an earthquake. Glass bottles shake and rattle, threatening to fall off the shelves and break, he said.
In Arcadia, Pops general manager Marty Doepke said the restaurant and its 600 or so varieties of soda escaped the earthquake unscathed. The glass bottles lining the walls of the building are glued down, he said.
Doepke and his staff felt the quake, which he said is unusual. Even when an earthquake happens nearby, people in the restaurant generally don't notice, he said.
Mike Williams, manager of Love's Travel Stop at Interstate 35 and NE 122, said he felt the quake come as a kind of wave of motion. At first, he didn't know what it was, he said.
“I thought it was a truck running into the back of my building,” he said. “We all felt it.”
Oklahoma is crisscrossed with fault lines that generate frequent small earthquakes, most too weak to be felt. But after decades of limited seismic activity in this region, earthquakes have become more common in the last several years.
State's largest quake
The strongest earthquake on record in Oklahoma was a magnitude-5.6 earthquake on Nov. 5, 2011.
That time, the football stadium in Stillwater, about 70 miles north of Oklahoma City, started shaking just after OSU defeated No. 17 Kansas State.
It left ESPN anchor Kirk Herbstreit wide-eyed during a postgame telecast.
That earthquake also toppled castle-like turrets at St. Gregory's University in Shawnee, about 40 miles east of Oklahoma City.
Since 2009, more than 200 magnitude-3.0 or greater earthquakes have hit the state's midsection, according to the Geological Survey. Scientists are not sure why seismic activity has spiked, but multiple studies are being undertaken.
In Edmond, Gabriella Devero, a University of Central Oklahoma student, was visiting her grandmother and experienced her first earthquake.
“My jaw was just wide open, ‘Was I actually going through an earthquake?'” Devero said about her initial thoughts. “Then I was like, ‘Yep, this is actually an earthquake.'
Staff writer Jonathan Sutton, The Associated Press