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3.9-magnitude earthquake hits Oklahoma, little damage reported

Nov. 5, 2013 at 3:17 PM

OKLAHOMA CITY, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- A 3.9-magnitude earthquake shook the Oklahoma City area, the largest in a series of local earthquakes in the past week, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Dozens of small earthquakes have been recorded in the area, and although causing no injuries and little damage, Monday night's was the most severe, The Oklahoman reported Tuesday.

Residents of the north Oklahoma City, Edmund and Spencer areas reported feeling the earthquake, which was centered four miles north-northwest of the town of Jones, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Disposal wells linked with the hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," process of recovering oil and gas from shale rock, have been blamed for earthquakes, but Austin Holland, Oklahoma Geological Survey seismologist, said the process has no connection with the current surge in earthquakes in the state.

"We can't forecast or predict earthquakes," Holland said of the hundreds of small earthquakes reported across Oklahoma in recent years. "I would assume this is some sort of temporary phase, but how long that temporary is, in geologic terms, could be hundreds of thousands of years."

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