NORMAN — City, county and school officials in Norman said the earthquake that shook the city Wednesday morning caused much excitement but little confirmed damage.
A magnitude 5.1 earthquake centered about eight miles southeast of Norman was reported at 9:06 a.m.
Norman police Capt. Tom Easley said there are no known reports of injuries or damage in the city, but residents flooded the 911 lines.
"The dispatchers were going crazy," Easley said. "They said (it seemed) everybody on every block in Norman called 911."
Kelly Wells, media relations specialist for Norman Regional Health System, said Wednesday afternoon that no one was transported to Norman Regional Hospital or came in on their own because of earthquake-related injuries.
At the University of Oklahoma, a section of glass in the ceiling at Dale Hall was shattered though it remained in place and there was no immediate confirmation it was caused by the earthquake.
Classes in Dale Hall and throughout the campus continued, and about 11 a.m. OU President David Boren issued this statement:
"While no basic structural damage has been found, as a precaution OU has called in a team of structural experts to evaluate buildings and structures on campus. No injuries have been reported. At this time, people on campus are returning to normal activities."
Even so, many students talked about the earthquake as they walked to and from class. Several told The Oklahoman they felt buildings shaking and heard windows rattling, but saw no damage.
Tim Marquis said he was in an electronic news gathering class at Gaylord Hall when a projector hanging from the ceiling shook and the professor asked, "Quick, does anyone have a camera?"
Micaelan Wright, a Norman freshman, was at her on-campus job when the earthquake happened, and items on her desk rattled about.
"I thought, 'Hey, maybe my test will be canceled, but no," she said. "But that's OK because I studied for it."
Little Axe schools in the Lake Thunderbird area are near the epicenter, and Superintendent Barry Damrill said no damage was found in district's buildings.
"Even our kids didn't get excited, though they thought it was pretty fun," Damrill said.
Norman Assistant Superintendent Roger Brown said a crack was found in the Cleveland Elementary School cafeteria, but experts are checking to determine if the damage was caused by the earthquake or if it was already there. Brown said no other campuses reported damage.
Charles Varnell lives in east Norman near Lake Thunderbird.
"That sucker, it rattled my whole house. It literally shook the whole thing," Varnell said.
Varnell said he lived in California nearly five years and never felt an earthquake before.
Cleveland County Undersheriff Rhett Burnett said people have flooded the Cleveland County 911 center with calls.
"We're trying to keep people off 911," Burnett said.
He said there has been one report of damage, but the damage is not significant in eastern parts of the county.
He said he has not heard of any injuries. Burnett said he does not yet know exactly where the damage was reported.
Students at Moore Norman Technology Center in northwest Norman were startled when the building shook, student Connie Hefner said.
"It started as a rumble, then the building started shaking. It was really strong. There wasn't any damage, but everyone was surprised by it," Hefner said.
Chris Jones, of east Norman, said her daughter works at a day care center, and she said "all the babies that were crying suddenly stopped crying."
Jones said all the dogs in her neighborhood were barking.
David Williams said he was in downtown Norman and the quake rocked his car.
"It was like the feeling you get when you are on the highway and a big semi rushes by you," Williams said.
The Sullivant Retreat Center is about 3.5 miles west of the epicenter.
Drew LaMunyon, director of the Sullivant Retreat Center, was in Norman getting a haircut.
"I saw the mirrors shaking," he said.
He said he went to the retreat center and didn't see any damage.
"I live right across the road and my wife says she certainly felt it and the house was shaking."
The retreat center was damaged from a tornado in May. They are still making repairs from that storm.
Rick Smith, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service, Norman Forecast Office, was in his office at the National Weather Center in Norman.
"It was a rumble; it didn't last long but there was a jolt at the end," Smith said. "It definitely got everyone's attention."
In Purcell, about 12 miles south of Norman, the sensation was intense, said Erica Lippel, a spokeswoman for the Purcell Police Department.
"Everybody pretty much went out in the street," she said. "We were trying to figure out what was going on. The phones went crazy, too. Everything started shaking and rattling on the walls."
A couple of people called the police department to report cracked walls, Lippel said.
The courthouse and an elementary school were evacuated in the city, McClain County Undersheriff Bill Shobe said.
Shobe said he had received no reports of major damage.