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Magnitude-4.5 earthquake rattles Central Oklahoma

An earthquake that shook the Oklahoma City area Saturday afternoon likely was one of the largest recorded in the state's history, an Oklahoma Geological Survey seismologist said Saturday.
by Silas Allen Modified: December 7, 2013 at 8:43 pm •  Published: December 7, 2013

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

by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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