Pawnee Residents Continue To Recover After Earthquake

Wednesday, September 7th 2016, 6:36 pm
By: News 9

The USGS upgraded Saturday’s earthquake in Pawnee County from a 5.6 magnitude to 5.8.

For those in Pawnee, they are still concerned about aftershocks that could be coming.

City leaders said they are preparing for possibly big aftershocks.

Pawnee police Chief Wesley Clymer said the city, county and state emergency management coordinators have put together a good plan for mutual aid, a lot of which was implemented on Saturday.

“From an emergency personnel standpoint, we got a plan in place not only for rescue, but for other agencies to come in and assist with that. God forbid, that it’s worse,” Clymer said.

There have been so many aftershocks already. He said a 3.5-magnitude quake, like residents felt on Tuesday, is now normal. While it’s a lot to think about, city leaders are preparing for the worst.

Besides mutual aid coordination, the City is also making sure areas that could be a hazard are taped off. Some of the buildings that were damaged on Saturday are still unstable.

“If we get another quake, the chances of it coming down are pretty good,” Clymer said.  

He said until they get it fixed, it will remain marked off.

A USGS research geophysicist told News 9 on Monday that a large magnitude aftershock is very possible based on the patterns of big earthquakes in Oklahoma’s recent history.

USGS crews have been out in Pawnee County installing seismometers.

Todd Halihan, a geology professor at Oklahoma State University, confirmed 15 to 20 normal seismometers are being deployed by USGS, OGS, Cornell University, and OSU.

Halihan said an additional 400 nodal arrays are being installed by Cornell. Nodal arrays, in layman’s terms, can be described as short-term mini seismometers.  

Clymer is leaving the studies and research of earthquakes up to the experts. He said his focus is to protect the residents of Pawnee in case another large earthquake strikes.