Oklahoma earthquake rattles Dallas residents

A 5.6 magnitude earthquake that was felt in North Texas Saturday morning was centered in north-central Oklahoma, according to the US Geological Survey.

The quake happened at 7:02 a.m. near Pawnee, Oklahoma, about 300 miles from Dallas and about 70 miles from Oklahoma City. Oklahoma officials directed dozens of wastewater-disposal wells in 500-square-mile area near earthquake epicenter to shut down.

Several aftershocks have also been reported.

The quake was felt from Central Texas to Kansas City. Hundreds of Fox 4 viewers posted online, indicating they felt the quake, as well.

A reporter from Fox 23 in Tulsa posted a picture of a store where items had been knocked off the shelves.

The Pawnee County emergency management director said no injuries have been reported.  He said the Saturday morning quake did cause cracks and damages to city buildings, some of which date to the early 1900s.

Pawnee County Emergency Management Director Mark Randell said no buildings collapsed in the town of 2,200 about nine miles southeast of the epicenter. "We've got buildings cracked," Randell said. "Most of it's brick and mortar, old buildings from the early 1900s."
 
Randell also said a man suffered a minor head injury when part of a fireplace fell on him as he protected a child. The man was treated and released.

The office of Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin tweeted that state highway crews were checking for bridge damage and the state Department of Emergency Management would assess damage and determine how to address it.

The U.S.G.S. also reports a 3.6 magnitude aftershock in the same area at 7:58 a.m.

An increase in magnitude 3.0 or greater earthquakes in Oklahoma has been linked to underground disposal of wastewater from oil and natural gas production.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which since 2013 has asked wastewater-well owners to reduce disposal volumes in parts of the state, directed about 35 wells within an approximately 500-square-mile area around the epicenter to shut down within seven to 10 days because of previous connections between the injection of wastewater and earthquakes.

The 5.6 magnitude quake tied a 2011 record for the biggest quake in Oklahoma. 

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