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The third-largest earthquake in recorded state history rocked parts of western Oklahoma on Saturday morning near the site of other large, recent temblors. last year

The quake registered a 5.1 magnitude and was recorded northwest of Fairview at 11:07 a.m., according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Geological Survey.

A 3.9 aftershock followed about 10 minutes after the earthquake, according to the USGS.

At 5.1, the temblor will be the state’s third-largest earthquake, according to Oklahoma Geological Survey data.

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Epicenter: Oklahoma

The following are yearly totals of earthquakes registering magnitude 3.0 or greater as documented by the Oklahoma Geological Survey since 2005.

2015: 907*

2014: 584

2013: 109

2012: 35

2011: 66

2010: 41

2009: 20

2008: 2

2007: 1

2006: 3

2005: 2

*Total number could fluctuate slightly as data are analyzed.

 

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The state’s largest earthquake is a 5.6 recorded out of Prague in 2011. The second was a 5.5 recorded near El Reno in 1952. Before Saturday, those two were the only quakes in state history to exceed a 5.0 magnitude.

Saturday’s quake surpassed a 4.8 recorded on Jan. 6 for this year’s largest earthquake. Both the 4.8 and Saturday’s 5.1 were centered near Fairview, according to USGS data.

Officials were preparing a further response to the state’s earthquake outbreak even before Saturday’s temblors.

The Oil and Gas Conservation Division of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission on Tuesday is scheduled to release details of a large regional plan to address the continuing earthquakes in such areas as Fairview, Cherokee, Medford and elsewhere in the western region, according to a release from the commission.

“We have long been worried about the earthquakes in that area, in the sharp rise in seismicity,” OCC spokesman Matt Skinner said. “Obviously, … it takes time to put together the plan.”

The plan involves a large-scale regional reduction in oil and gas wastewater disposal for an approximately 5,000-square-mile area in western Oklahoma and will affect more than 200 Arbuckle disposal wells, the release states.

“In this case, there is nothing more to be done — we have a plan in place to deal with this,” Skinner said. “To be clear, we’ll release the specific details on Tuesday publicly, but the plan itself is already in place and the operators started to be notified on Thursday of this week.”

How the commission has responded to seismic events has evolved over the years. Two years ago, for example, commissioners took a well-by-well approach, Skinner said.

“As the data becomes available to the researchers we’re working with, we’re putting together these plans, and these plans will continue until we obviously have brought the overall rate down,” he said. “As the knowledge grows, so will the plan.”

Researchers agree that disposal wells injecting into the Arbuckle formation pose the highest potential risk for causing damaging earthquakes in Oklahoma.

The action taken by the commission is not a response to Saturday’s event specifically, but to the overall increase in earthquakes in the region, Skinner said.

The whole region is the newest area of production and has been steadily growing.

“This latest event simply underscores — it’s like the big bold underline — how important it is to put this plan in place,” Skinner said.

Before Saturday, Oklahoma had been shaken by seven earthquakes of at least 4.0 magnitude in 2016. Those quakes were all recorded within the first eight days of January.

The strongest of those — the 4.8 on Jan. 6 — was among a swam of 32 earthquakes recorded over a period of about 24 hours.

Through Friday evening, Oklahoma had recorded 133 quakes this year that measured at least 3.0, according to the Oklahoma Geological Survey.

As of Saturday evening, the USGS had recorded more than a dozen earthquakes with a magnitude of 2.5 or greater in Oklahoma, including the 5.1-magnitude temblor. All but three were in the Fairview area.

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Christchurch hit by severe earthquake

1:31pm 14 Feb
Severe quake hits Christchurch
Stuff.co.nz
Hundreds evacuated in central Christchurch after Sunday’s earthquake.

WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR:
* 5.7 earthquake struck Christchurch around 1.13pm
* Intensity listed as “severe”
* Buildings evacuated
* Felt widely around the South Island, as well as Wellington
* No reports of serious injuries or damage so far
* No tsunami threat to NZ
* NZTA advises drivers to stay away from Sumner
* Spark network congested – use text messages
* Christchurch and Burwood hospitals remain open

A bike rider says containers at the bottom of Sumner cliffs saved his life from falling rocks when a “severe” earthquake struck Christchurch.
The quake was originally listed as a magnitude 5.9, however Geonet has since downgraded its reading to a 5.7. It stuck around1.13pm on Sunday, 13km east of Christchurch at a depth of 14km.

 

“All of a sudden the bars start shaking and we hear this massive bang on the container. It sounded like someone was running on top of it and all of a sudden this dust just swept straight across the road.

“We looked up and just saw all these rocks just coming down so we biked as fast as we can out of there and stopped at the end, looked back and the rest of the cliff at the other end of Sumner was coming down.”

“It was just mental.”

Hamish Pringle and his family were hiking to Boulder Bay on the Godley Track when the quake hit. About 10 seconds later we were all shrouded in dust from a big rockfall about 200m away from us.

HAMISH PRINGLE
Hamish Pringle and his family were hiking to Boulder Bay on the Godley Track when the quake hit. About 10 seconds later we were all shrouded in dust from a big rockfall about 200m away from us.

“We were right at the start of the containers, it just went bang, bang, bang with all the rocks hitting the containers. If they weren’t there, we were riding right next to it and we would have just been absolutely cleaned out for sure.”

Cliff collapse at Sumner during the 5.7 magnitude earthquake on February 14, 2016.

Huge plumes of dust billowed across parts of Sumner in the minutes after the quakes as parts of the cliffs near the seaside suburb collapsed.

A section of cliff at Godley Head collapsed into the sea with cliff collapses continuing for up to 30 minutes after the quake, creating loud booms and dust clouds.

Nick Smith was out on a Jetski tour not far from Taylor’s Mistake when the earthquake hit. “It was the nerve racking ‘quick check’ behind me to make sure the clients were all ok on their Jetskis.”

NICK SMITH/VOLO JETSKI ADVENTURE
Nick Smith was out on a Jetski tour not far from Taylor’s Mistake when the earthquake hit. “It was the nerve racking ‘quick check’ behind me to make sure the clients were all ok on their Jetskis.”

A police spokeswoman said police were out doing “reassurance patrols” while a Fire Service spokesman said they had not had reports of damage yet, other than a “situation” at Whitewash Head near Sumner.

Police are stopping people from going up Whitewash Head, in Sumner, where parts of cliffs had fallen down.

Officers were not aware of anyone being injured from the cliff collapses, but residents were urged to stay away from cliff sides.

Liquefaction is blocking this New Brighton street.

Liquefaction is blocking this New Brighton street.

MIHCELLE O’BRIEN
Liquefaction is blocking this New Brighton street.

Nick Smith, 14, and his family were out boating near the entrance Lyttelton Harbour when the quake struck.

“We thought something had hit the boat. Mum just told us to look up and we saw rubble falling [from Godley Head] and collapsing on the water.”

He quickly pulled out his phone and captured what was happening.

A collapse on Richmond Hill cliff sends dust over Sumner just after the shaking stopped.
BRYN HILL
A collapse on Richmond Hill cliff sends dust over Sumner just after the shaking stopped.

“It was a bit scary. It looked pretty bad from out there with all the dust.”

BUILDINGS BADLY DAMAGED

South New Brighton resident Tony Jensen said some buildings in nearby suburbs were badly damaged, with a pub 2km to the north in New Brighton hit hard.

China and dinnerware litter the floor in Briscoes after the shaking stopped.
China and dinnerware litter the floor in Briscoes after the shaking stopped.

“I think everything smashed out of their fridge. Yet the club across the road is open, no drama.”

The quake was an unpleasant reminder of the shake that devastated the city five years ago.

“It was just very, very scary,” Jensen said. “All this is going to do is just freak everyone out.”

Stock fell from shelves during the quake.

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Stock fell from shelves during the quake.

Jensen said one woman he knew was extremely traumatised after the quake, and he imagined many other people would be too.

He said many people would be too scared to go out to places such as shopping malls, as they were five years ago.

“It knocked me off my feet but once again we didn’t get a great deal of damage.”
BLAYNE SLABBERT
Godley Head, near Taylor’s Mistake beach in east Christchurch taken about 1 minute after the earthquake.

Stock fell from shelves during the quake.

PEDESTRIANS HUDDLE ON STREET

Reporter Emily Spink was in the foyer of Christchurch’s Centre of Contemporary Art (CoCA) when the earthquake struck.

The gallery re-opened on Saturday, after the February 2011 earthquake saw the closure of the art space.
More of the Christchurch Cathedral facade has fallen away.

Art-goers and people in a neighbouring ground-floor cafe ran from the building, and glass could be heard shattering from the second floor.

Pedestrians were visibly upset and some huddled together in the street.

In Cathedral Square, more of the Cathedral had come away in the shaking.