Who To Contact When Earthquakes Strike?


Tuesday, August 19th 2014, 11:13 pm
By: News 9


Tuesday's 4.3 earthquake in Logan County has a lot of people on edge. Some people even called 911, but there is a better option when you feel the ground shake.

Caller: “Oklahoma City 911.”

Dispatcher: “This is a non-emergency. I live at 113t and Council. Are we having an earthquake just now?”

Caller: “Yes. I think there was an earthquake just now.”

Dispatcher: “Oh, Lord. Thank you, ma'am.”

As soon as the ground starts shaking, the calls start rolling in, and sometimes you can almost hear the frustration in the dispatcher's voice.

Caller: “Uh, I just felt a serious earthquake.”

Dispatcher: “OK.”

Caller: “In my home in the 7000 west (inaudible) road.”

Dispatcher: “We felt it, too. Do you need an ambulance? Are you hurt?”

Caller: “No, ma'am.”

The tremors certainly catch people off guard, and they don't know what else to do but call 911.

Caller: “Hi. Who do you call if you feel an earthquake?”

Dispatcher: “Nobody, ma'am. I mean, it's just an earthquake. We all felt it.”

So who do you contact? On the Oklahoma Geological Survey's website there is a form to complete, and those forms are used for research.

“We find that very useful,” Oklahoma Geological Survey Director Randy Keller said. “It gives us some idea of variations. Some places at a given distance from an earthquake might shake more than others.”

8/19/2014 Related Story: Security Cameras At OKC Business Capture 4.3 Magnitude Earthquake

Just last week Keller said a paper was published about how Oklahoma earthquakes may be induced and that induced quakes are not as strong as natural ones.

“Not sure what we think of that yet,” he said. “It's an observation that we're certainly looking at.”

That is information that can't be captured by instruments, but only by people who report what they felt.

“So there are walking seismographs,” Keller said.

The Oklahoma Geological Survey says about 188 people reported Tuesday's quake, and the USGS got about 676 reports from Oklahomans.