Cushing earthquake produces several aftershocks

The Associated Press - November 7, 2016 8:57 am

Earthquake damage in Cushing.

Geologists have recorded several aftershocks in Oklahoma following a 5.0 earthquake that struck Sunday night, causing damage in the town of Cushing.

The Oklahoma Geological Survey says the aftershocks near Cushing are expected to continue and that there is a 5 percent chance of an aftershock stronger than the initial quake.

Scientists have linked Oklahoma’s uptick in earthquakes to the underground injection of wastewater during oil and gas production. Last week, state regulators called for new restrictions on disposal wells near the town of Pawnee following a 4.5 magnitude earthquake on Nov. 1.

Pawnee is 25 miles north of Cushing.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin says there are no immediate reports of damage at a major oil storage hub following the Cushing earthquake. Fallin tweeted that officials in Cushing are checking for building damage and natural gas leaks following Sunday night’s quake. It was the third earthquake with a magnitude 5.0 or greater this year in Oklahoma.

The governor says no damage was reported at the storage tanks at Cushing’s oil storage terminal, which as of last month held 58.45 million barrels of crude oil.

Fallin also tweeted that about 40 residents of the Cimarron Towers assisted living center are staying at a shelter because of damage to the building.

The earthquake, centered near one of the world’s key oil hubs, triggered fears the temblor may have damaged key infrastructure and rendered century-old downtown buildings unsafe in the latest Oklahoma town rattled by increasingly strong quakes.

Cushing Assistant City Manager Jeremy Frazier said at a late-night news conference that a few minor injuries were reported in the quake that struck at 7:44 p.m. Sunday. He said the damage appeared to be contained to downtown, where piles of debris sat at the base of some commercial buildings.

Fearing aftershocks, police cordoned off older parts of the city to keep gawkers away.

City officials have scheduled a news conference for Monday morning to discuss the quake’s impact.

 

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