Residents Discouraged From Dialing 911 To Report Earthquakes

Monday, June 16th 2014, 6:26 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

It was a big rumble Monday morning after a 4.5 magnitude earthquake provided quite the wake up call across the metro. While some people turned to social media or turned on the television to see what was going on, others took a different approach and decided to call 911.

"We just had an earthquake, an earthquake!" one caller said to a 911 dispatcher.

"I want to report an earthquake," said another caller. The dispatcher asked if it did any damage to her house and she said, "I don't know. It scared me."

No matter how often we've felt the earth shake lately, the sudden jolt still seems to catch some Oklahomans off guard. Some even called Oklahoma City's 911 dispatch center.

"Is this thunder or lightening or something?" asked one woman. "I heard some rumbling on my porch." The dispatcher told her she probably felt an earthquake. "Oh, Lord!" she exclaimed.

It may all seem harmless until that call disrupts a more important one.

"Often times the call takers are dealing with real life emergencies while those other calls are coming in with people saying, ‘Hey, I heard a loud noise, and I think we might have had an earthquake," said MSgt. Gary knight with the Oklahoma City Police Department.

While Msgt. Knight says police certainly don't want to discourage you from calling when you have a real emergency, simply reporting an earthquake doesn't qualify.

"We definitely want to hear from people whenever they're in an emergency situation, or need a response from police, or fire, or EMSA or something along those lines, but simply

"We definitely want to hear from people whenever they're in an emergency situation or need a response from police or fire or EMSA or something along those lines," said Msgt. Knight. "But simply to call and ask questions that ties up the lines."

There were no reports of damage or injuries because of Monday's earthquake.