5.6 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Central Oklahoma After Earlier Shakers

5.6 earthquake hits central Oklahoma after earlier shakers (MSNBC, Nov. 6, 2011):

Tremor is felt across wide area; chimneys, walls collapse; roads buckle

OKLAHOMA CITY — A 5.6 magnitude earthquake shook central Oklahoma late Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

What could be the largest temblor in the state’s history damaged homes, shook buildings, caused cracks and rattled a college football stadium 50 miles from the epicenter.

Emergency management officials in Lincoln County were reporting significant damage, NBC station KJRH of Tulsa reported.

Chimneys collapsed through roofs of homes, KJRH reported. Damage to the Prague library included collapsed air conditioning ducts and a collapsed wall.

Area residents reported glass breaking and items falling from walls, NBC News reported.

Several roadways buckled, including Highway 62 and other county roads, KJRH said.

A boulder the size of an SUV rolled onto one rural roadway, NBC News reported. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol was assessing road damage early Sunday, NBC News reported.

There has been no word on any injuries reported.

The quake was shallow at 3.1 miles deep and occurred at 10:53 p.m. Central Daylight Time, the USGS said. It was centered about four miles east of the city of Sparks in Lincoln County, or about 45 miles east of Oklahoma City. Several smaller aftershocks struck early Sunday.

See a USGS map showing where quake struck

A USGS spokesman told NBC News that callers from Kansas, Arizona, Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma were reporting that they had felt the quake.

People posted on Twitter that they felt the earthquake as far away as Kansas City, St. Louis, and Wylie, Texas.

“The picture by the TV fell off the wall and we jumped up because we thought somebody had hit the house,” Noeh Morales of Oklahoma City told NewsOK.com.

The quake struck as ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit was on the air with Chris Fowler to report No. 3 Oklahoma State’s defeat of No. 17 Kansas State 52-45 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater. Herbstreit widened his eyes in surprise as he was being questioned by Fowler, and then told him about the quake and asked him to repeat his question.

“I literally thought the stadium was rocking like people were stepping down off of this platform I’m on, but we had a little aftershock…” Herbstreit said.

Oklahoma State’s players were gathered in the stadium locker rooms when the rumbling started.

“Coach (Mike) Gundy was talking to me, everybody was looking around and no one had any idea,” quarterback Brandon Weeden said. “We thought the people above us were doing something. I’ve never felt one, so that was a first.”

The shaking could be felt in the stadium’s press box for the better part of a minute before it subsided. The stands were already clearing out when the quake happened, just a few minutes after the down-to-the-wire game had ended.

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

Prague City Police Department dispatcher Claudie Morton told the Tulsa World she had “never felt anything like that in my life.”

“It was the scariest thing,” Morton said. “I had a police officer just come in and sit down and all the sudden the walls started shaking and the windows were rattling. It felt like the roof was going to come off the police department.”

Morton said the office was flooded with calls by residents who told her that picture frames and mirrors fell from walls and broke, drawers worked loose from dressers and objects tumbled out of cabinets.

The quake came after at least three earthquakes shook much of the same area early Saturday.

A 4.7 magnitude quake struck at 2:12 a.m. (3:12 a.m. ET), with an epicenter about six miles north of Prague in southern Lincoln County, the USGS reported on its website. That is about 50 miles east of Oklahoma City.

The USGS said a 3.4 magnitude quake was also recorded at 2:27 a.m. and a 2.7 magnitude quake at 2:44 a.m.

People felt rumbling as far away as Oklahoma City, Tulsa and outside of the state in Wichita, Kan. and Kansas City, Mo., NewsOK reported.

“We have a solid house on a slab, and it felt like it was coming apart,” Joe Bill Moad, who lives west of Oklahoma City in Yukon, told the newspaper.

Lincoln County sheriff officials said there have been no reports of injuries but several people reported items falling off walls.

Oklahoma City police officials said they have received several 911 calls, but have no reports of injuries or damage.

The largest previously recorded earthquake to strike Oklahoma was a 5.5 magnitude temblor centered in El Reno on April 9, 1952, according to the Oklahoma Geological Survey.

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