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Oklahoma earthquake timeline

Oklahoma earthquake timeline
Published: November 8, 2011

Here's a look at some of the quakes that have been felt in Oklahoma since before statehood and the more recent quakes of 2010 and 2011.

1800s and 1900s

1800s: The great earthquakes in the New Madrid, Mo., region in 1811-1812, and a strong earthquake centered in Arkansas on Oct. 22, 1881, likely were felt in the area that is now Oklahoma.

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

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

Dec. 27, 1929: On Dec. 27, 1929, another quake was felt in parts 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.

April 9, 1952: 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. Plate glass windows were shattered in the business district of El Reno. Aftershocks were felt on 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 5 minutes after midnight. People reported feeling the earthquake in Kingfisher, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Union City.

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

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

April 2, 1956: Southeastern Oklahoma was disturbed by a noisy earthquake on April 2, 1956. Buildings shook and objects fell in Antlers, and people were alarmed.

Oct. 30, 1956: 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.

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

Jan. 10, 1961: 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 quake April 27, 1961, awoke many in Antlers, Coalgate, Hartshorne, Le Flore, McCurtain, Panola, Poteau, Talihina and Wilburton.

Oct. 14, 1968: An Oct. 14, 1968, earthquake caused cracked walls and broke glass in two structures in Durant. The media reported that a 5-foot-tall advertising stand fell over. Slight foreshocks were felt in Durant on Oct. 10 and 11. Effects from the Oct. 14 event were noted in Caddo.

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


Jan. 15, 2010: On Jan. 15 a magnitude-4 earthquake occurred at 9:18 a.m. with an epicenter three miles northeast of Jones. A second earthquake, magnitude 3.8, was recorded at 9:27 a.m. with an epicenter one mile northeast of Jones.

Jan. 24, 2010: 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 quakes that have hit in the last year.

Feb. 1, 2010: A 2.5-magnitude earthquake hit near Jones on Feb. 1. The quake was three miles southeast of Jones and five miles northeast of Choctaw about 5:45 p.m.

Feb. 12, 2010: A 3.2-magnitude earthquake occurred southeast of Luther about 11:30 p.m. Feb. 12. The epicenter was about six miles southeast of Luther and three miles beneath the surface.

Feb. 26, 2010: Two earthquakes were recorded Feb. 26 in Lincoln County. A magnitude-2.9 quake was reported at 10:12 a.m. two miles southeast of Wellston in Lincoln County. The quake was about three miles below the surface. A magnitude-2.5 quake was recorded at 8:35 a.m. five miles southwest of Chandler.

Feb. 27, 2010: The earthquake felt across wide swathes of Oklahoma on Feb. 27 was a magnitude 4.1. The quake struck near Sparks along the Turner Turnpike northeast of Oklahoma City, but state residents reported feeling the quake as far south as Norman and as far north as Tulsa.

March 11, 2010: Western Canadian County was struck by 10 quakes March 11 with several being felt in Minco and Niles. The area was near the Caddo and Grady County lines, according to Oklahoma Geological Survey officials. The strongest of the group registered a magnitude 3.4. That quake's epicenter was 10 miles west-southwest of El Reno and happened just before 6 p.m. Of the other nine quakes, six were clustered about 11 miles south-southwest of El Reno.

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