Oklahoma still shaken after earthquake last night

A series of about 10 aftershocks — including two with 4.0 magnitudes — continued to rattle the Oklahoma City area this morning, after a 5.6 magnitude earthquake hit at around 10:50 p.m. last night. That earthquake itself followed a 4.7 magnitude quake early Saturday morning.

About 44 miles northeast of Oklahoma City, in Sparks, Okla., the epicenter of the quake, and in the surrounding areas, homeowners and businesses continue to report damage, but no injuries have been reported. The earthquake also caused Highway 62 to buckle in three sections — and the castle-like administration building of St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee sustained a collapsed spire, as well.

Slightly less severe than the 5.8 (originally reported as 5.9) magnitude quake that shook the East Coast earlier this year, the Oklahoma temblor was felt as far away as Wisconsin and Tennessee — and was the highest magnitude quake ever to rock the state. It’s not that earthquakes never hit Oklahoma — the state is shaken by about 50 a year — but it’s that they’re rarely this strong. Oklahomans might be accustomed to tornado cleanup — but they’re not used to earthquake-caused cracked cookie jars and crooked paintings.

In Stillwater, Okla., as a crowd of about 59,000 left T. Boone Pickens Stadium after a major Big 12 matchup, some fans were still so busy reliving the dramatic final seconds of the game that they didn’t feel the quake. Others were alerted to it by concerned text messages from family and friends. But, in the locker room, after the OSU Cowboys narrowly defeated the Kansas State Wildcats, at least a couple of the athletes were unnerved by the unusually active stadium:

“That shook up the place, had a lot of people nervous,” Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon said. “Yeah, it was pretty strong.” …

“Everybody was looking around, and no one had any idea,” Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden said. “We thought the people above us were doing something. I’ve never felt one, so that was a first.”

Earthquakes have lately been on the uptick in Oklahoma — particularly near Sparks — but seismologists aren’t sure why.

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