Reaction To Report Of Increased Chances For Large OK Earthquakes

Tuesday, May 6th 2014, 7:08 pm

The big one could be coming. Experts with the U.S. Geological Survey and Oklahoma Geological Survey now say there is an increased possibility of a damaging earthquake in Central Oklahoma.

A sequence of magnitude 4.0 earthquakes north of the Oklahoma City has lead experts to believe that a bigger one could be on the way.

"It was the first time you felt that kind of movement instantaneously and I think it went on for 10 seconds or so," said Tapwerks Manager Greg Powell. Powell was inside the 100 plus year old brick building the last time there was a big earthquake.

The USGS and OGS say owners of older unreinforced brick structures, which are vulnerable to serious damage during sufficient shaking should be concerned. Because another large earthquake could be coming.

5/5/2014 Related Story: USGS: Record Number Of OK Earthquakes Raises Concern

"We're not trying to scare people or anything, but you have to admit the odds go up," said Randy Keller, Director of the Oklahoma Geological Survey.

The OGS recorded 183 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater between October 2013 until April 14, 2014. Historically, there are only two earthquakes that size per year.

"The more threes you have the more likelihood you are to have a four, the more fours you have the more likelihood you are to have a five," said Keller.

The experts also said a likely contributing factor to the increased earthquakes is wastewater disposal from injection wells. Although Keller says it's hard to be sure.

"It's a rather unique thing the whole seismic community is scratching our head about what's going on to be honest," said Keller.

Keller says if a big earthquake does hit they expect it to be somewhere between Oklahoma City and the Kansas border.