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State News

February 18, 2014

Oklahoma sees huge uptick in 2013 earthquakes

Oklahoma City — Oklahoma recorded 222 earthquakes with magnitudes of 2.5 or greater last year, soaring above 2012’s total of 64 such temblors, according to seismologists studying the source of the recent uptick in quakes.

This year is already off to a seismologically busy start — the state has recorded 63 earthquakes at 2.5-magnitude or greater during 2014, according to The Oklahoman. That total doesn’t include several earthquakes that struck Logan County late Sunday and early Monday.

“The more earthquakes you are going to have, the more damaging earthquakes you are going to have,” said seismologist Austin Holland with the Oklahoma Geological Survey. Holland said there were 97 quakes at 2.5-magnitude or greater in 2011, and 104 such quakes in 2010.

Scientists are not sure why seismic activity has spiked, but they are studying the phenomenon.

“We’re continuing to try to understand this and to keep up with the number of earthquakes,” Holland said.

Oklahoma’s strongest recorded earthquake was a 5.6-magnitude quake that struck in November 2011 near Prague. It damaged 200 buildings, shook a football stadium and rattled parts of seven states.

On Dec. 7, 2013, a 4.5-magnitude earthquake hit near Arcadia Lake. Marty Doepke, general manager of the restaurant Pops, said he heard a boom and felt the ground rumble at the time. He said his restaurant and soda pop store was built to withstand earthquakes, and all the glass bottles on display are glued to the shelves.

“We’ve certainly felt them a couple of times,” Doepke said. As long as the quakes don’t get any bigger, the concrete and steel building should be fine, he said.

Red Cross offers Earthquake app

OKLAHOMA CITY— The American Red Cross has an earthquake app, putting lifesaving information right in the hands of people who live in or who visit earthquake-prone areas.

This free app — available in English or Spanish — is the third in a series created by the American Red Cross, the nation’s leader in emergency preparedness, for use on both iPhone and Android platforms. 

Ken Garcia, regional communications director for the central and western Oklahoma region of the Red Cross said, “Oklahoma residents will receive earthquake notifications and can monitor activity where other family and friends reside. People who do not live in earthquake-prone areas can have peace of mind knowing you’ll have instant information about loved ones.”

 

Features of the app include:

• Earthquake notifications showing epicenter, magnitude and intensity maps;

• One touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to broadcast reassurance to family and friends via social media outlets that they are out of harm’s way;

• Options to view the app in English or Spanish;

• Locations of open Red Cross shelters;

• Simple steps and checklists to create a family emergency plan;

• Preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical action steps, even without mobile connectivity;

• Information on events that may happen after earthquakes, such as fires and tsunamis; and

• Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm.

 

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