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Oklahoma rattled by 4.7 earthquake

November 5, 2011 |  9:45 am

Image: Location of the epicenter. Image credit: Google MapsThe third-largest earthquake in state history rattled central Oklahoma early Saturday and could be felt as far as Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas.

"We have reports of it being felt very widely, as far south as Plano, Texas, and up into Fort Leavenworth, Kan.," said Paul Caruso, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colo.

Heather Spicer of Sapulpa, Okla., told The Oklahoman the quake woke her whole household, including the dog.

"At first I thought an airplane had crashed nearby," Spicer said. "But now I believe it was an earthquake because the whole house just kept vibrating with what sounded like distant thunder outside."

The 4.7 magnitude quake was reported at 2:12 a.m. with an epicenter about six miles north of Prague, Okla., about 50 miles east of Oklahoma City, according to the USGS. The quake was the third-largest in state history, Caruso said, following a temblor that shook Noble, Okla., on Oct. 13, 2010, and a 5.5 quake reported in El Reno, Okla., about 30 miles west of the capital, on April 9, 1952.

The quake was followed by nine aftershocks in the same area, Caruso said.

He said it was difficult to say what caused the quake, but that it originated from rocks moving sideways on a "strike slip" fault similar to the San Andreas Fault. The Oklahoma fault is known as the Wilzetta Fault, also the Seminole uplift, according to the Oklahoma Geological Survey, which reported more than 30 aftershocks associated with Saturday's quake.

No injuries have been reported, but there have been reports of minor damage from items falling off walls, according to staff of the Lincoln County sheriff's office who spoke with The Times.

Oklahoma City police told The Times they have received several 911 calls but no reports of injuries or damage.


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Image: Epicenter of the earthquake in yellow, east of Oklahoma City. Image credit: Google Maps