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Oklahoma's seismic activity may not be over, experts say

By Matt Dinger and Tiffany Gibson Published: November 7, 2011

“Part of the engineering that goes into the construction of the pipeline is that there are these stresses present. There's going to be movement and shifting. I'm not saying they're impervious to earthquakes, certainly not, but there is a lot of thought that goes into the fact that the earth is constantly moving,” Sherry said.

Inspections made

The state Transportation Department is inspecting bridges within 50 miles of the quake's epicenter. No bridges have been closed for repair, according the state Department of Emergency Management.

Also, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has inspected dams within 70 miles of the epicenter and found no problems, the emergency management department reported.

Betsy Randolph, an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper, said U.S. 62 was shut down about 1:20 a.m. Sunday in Lincoln County for resurfacing after the earthquake. The road was reopened an hour later.

Randolph said troopers on duty during the earthquake made cursory checks on the Capitol and other state buildings for damage. She said no damage was found, but the Department of Central Services will be doing more comprehensive examinations this week.

Crumbling bricks

Lincoln County Emergency Manager Joey Wakefield said the chimney on a two-story house collapsed near Prague. He said most of the damage was minor except for brick fireplaces that crumbled in several homes. There were 12 homes that sustained minor damage in the county, most involving damage to brick facades and cracks in wallboard, as well as roof and chimney damage, the state Department of Emergency Management reported.

MacArthur bridge between Kickapoo and Harrison also sustained damage caused by the earthquake, according to the Pottawatomie County sheriff's office Facebook page.

Shawnee Emergency Management Director Don Lynch reported on the city's website that two buildings and one residence received minor damage in the quake.

Part of the upper story of one of the walls at Neals Home Furnishings also fell, and one residence in the Aydelotte area had interior damage, Lynch wrote.

Four spires on top of Benedictine Hall at St. Gregory's University were damaged, and the turret on the southwest column was removed by a large crane and covered with a tarp to protect it from expected rain.

Medical emergencies

Lara O'Leary, spokeswoman for the Emergency Medical Services Authority, said that paramedics were called on two earthquake-related calls Saturday night.

O'Leary said paramedics arrived to help a 72-year-old woman whose heart was racing after the quake.

O'Leary said paramedics also responded to help a 70-year-old man who fell in the shower during the earthquake.

He was taken to a hospital in good condition.

Wakefield said the injuries in Lincoln County were minor.

He said most of the injuries occurred when a brick fell on someone's arm or hand.

Two injuries were reported to the state health department: A Lincoln County man hit his head when trying to run out of his home during the earthquake and a Pottawatomie County woman cut her foot on broken glass after the earthquake.

Neither was hospitalized, according to the state emergency management department.

Did you know?

WHAT to do

• Check for injuries and provide necessary first aid

• Check for gas, water, downed power lines and shortages, then turn off utilities if necessary. If you shut off the main gas valve, wait for the gas company to check leaks and make repairs and do not turn it back on yourself.

• Turn on the radio for safety instructions and recovery actions.

• Only use the telephone for emergencies.

• Follow your family emergency plan, be cautious when opening cabinets and stay away from damaged areas.

• Be prepared for aftershocks.

Source: Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management


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