Oklahoma hit by third strongest earthquake on record

By Ann Marie Awad  |  Feb. 13, 2016 at 7:58 PM
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FAIRVIEW, Okla., Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Oklahoma was shook by a 5.1 magnitude earthquake on Saturday morning, however no injuries were reported.

The Weather Channel reported the quake was the third strongest in the state's history. The epicenter was 17 miles north of the town of Fairview, Okla., but shaking could be felt as far away as Oklahoma City and Wichita, Kan.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported the quake occurred at 9:59 a.m. CST Saturday morning, and it was followed by twin 3.9 magnitude aftershocks. Twenty four minutes later, a 2.5 tremor followed.

It's possible the quake was caused by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the process of injecting fluids into the ground to break up rock and release oil and natural gas. USGS has made a connection between the practice and increased seismic activity. Since 2009, Oklahoma's rate of earthquakes has skyrocketed to more than 3000 quakes per year at magnitudes of 3.0 or higher.

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