Oklahoma earthquake history

The first recorded earthquake centered in the state was Dec. 2, 1897.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Modified: October 13, 2010 at 1:31 pm •  Published: October 13, 2010

The great earthquakes in the New Madrid, Mo., region in 1811-12, and a strong earthquake centered in

Arkansas on Oct. 22, 1881, likely were felt in the area that is now Oklahoma.

The first recorded earthquake known to have been centered in the state occurred Dec. 2, 1897, in Grant County.

In September 1918, a series of shocks in El Reno produced only minor effects.

Dec. 27, 1929, another quake was felt in portions of central and western Oklahoma. Some plaster cracked and at least one chimney fell in El Reno. Clocks stopped, objects moved and some reports indicated walls and floors swayed. People rushed from their homes in alarm.

A magnitude-5.5 earthquake on April 9, 1952, was centered near El Reno and affected most of Oklahoma and parts of Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas. Damage from the 10:30 a.m. earthquake was not extensive, but many people near the epicenter were alarmed. Portions of chimneys fell in El Reno and Ponca City. Bricks loosened from a building wall and tile facing of commercial buildings bulged in Oklahoma City.

Plate glass windows were shattered in the business district of El Reno. Aftershocks were felt April 11, 15, and 16, July 16 and Aug. 14. Homes and buildings shook and people were awakened in El Reno in the April 16 aftershock, at five minutes after midnight. People reported feeling the earthquake in Kingfisher, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Union City.

A quake was felt in Holdenville and Wewoka on Oct. 7, 1952.

Minor damage to a building foundation and plaster in Concho resulted from two March 17, 1953, earthquakes about an hour apart. People felt the earthquake in Calumet, Edmond, El Reno, Minco, Okarche, Piedmont and Union City.

Southeastern Oklahoma was disturbed by a noisy earthquake on April 2, 1956. Buildings shook and objects fell in Antlers, and people were alarmed. Minor effects were reported from nearby towns.

On Oct. 30, 1956, a large area in northeastern Oklahoma was shaken. West of Catoosa the movement caused an oil well to be shut down. Minor damage occurred in Beggs and Tulsa.

A broad area of southwestern Oklahoma and the adjacent portion of Texas felt an early morning shock on June 17, 1959. Slight damage, consisting of cracks in plaster, pavement, and a house foundation, occurred in Cache, Duncan and Lawton. A smaller earthquake on June 15 was felt by many in Ada and nearby. Dishes were reported broken and a trembling motion was observed.

On Jan. 10, 1961, a mild shock was felt in Latimer and Pittsburg counties in southeastern Oklahoma. Thunderous earth sounds were heard in many places, but no damage was reported. Another noisy earthquake on April 27,

1961, awoke many in Antlers, Coalgate, Hartshorne, Leflore, McCurtain, Panola, Poteau, Talihina and Wilburton.

An Oct. 14, 1968, earthquake caused cracked walls and broke glass in two structures in Durant. The news media reported that a 5-foot-tall advertising stand fell over, and canned goods fell from a rack in a supermarket.

Slight foreshocks were felt in Durant on Oct. 10 and 11. Effects from the Oct. 14 event were noted in Caddo.

A magnitude-4.6 earthquake caused cracked plaster in Wewoka on May 2, 1969. Effects were reported in several other towns in the region.

Following are some of the earthquakes in Oklahoma in 2010 before Wednesday:

On January 15 a magnitude-4 earthquake occurred at 9:18 a.m. with an epicenter three miles northeast of Jones. A second earthquake, a magnitude-3.8 one, was recorded at 9:27 a.m. with an epicenter one mile northeast of Jones.

A 3.7-magnitude quake occurred in eastern Oklahoma County near Jones about 1:15 a.m. Jan. 24. Its epicenter was about six miles below the surface, which is about three miles deeper than most of the dozens of quakes that have hit the area in the last year.

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