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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Quake rattles Oklahoma - felt in Amarillo and Canyon!


SPARKS, Okla. | Oklahomans more accustomed to tornadoes than earthquakes suffered through a weekend of temblors that cracked buildings, buckled a highway and rattled nerves. One quake late Saturday was the state's strongest ever and jolted a college football stadium 50 miles away and was followed early Sunday by a jarring aftershock.

There were no reports in the hours after the quakes of any severe injuries or severe damage.

"That shook up the place, had a lot of people nervous," Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon said of the late Saturday quake, the strongest of a series of quakes. "Yeah, it was pretty strong."

The magnitude 5.6 earthquake Saturday night was centered near Sparks, 44 miles northeast of Oklahoma City, and could be felt throughout the state and in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, northern Texas and some parts of Illinois and Wisconsin, said geophysicist Jessica Turner at the U.S. Geological Survey. A magnitude 4.7 quake early Saturday was felt from Texas to Missouri.

Turner told The Associated Press that the subsequent magnitude 4.0 quake that struck at 3:39 a.m. Sunday was an aftershock centered some 36 miles east of Oklahoma City in the same region. Like Saturday night's quake, she said it was another shallow quake occurring about 3 miles underground, but experts had no immediate explanation for the spurt in seismic activity.

Following the quakes or numerous small aftershocks, several homeowners and businesses reported cracked walls, fallen knickknacks and other minor damage. At Shawnee, the fire department said one spire on the administration building at St. Gregory University had been damaged and another one was leaning, according to KWTV in Oklahoma City.

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