Oklahoma Shuts Down Oil And Gas Wells After Earthquake Shakes Midwest

“I think it shook everybody up,” a city mayor said. “It was just about time that a lot of us were waking up, and those who were not already awake certainly were awakened by the earthquake.”

Damage to a building in Pawnee, Oklahoma.

Reuters Staff / Reuters

Officials in Oklahoma ordered oil and gas operators to temporarily close more than three dozen wells after a magnitude-5.6 earthquake struck the state's north on Saturday morning and shook residents in neighboring Midwestern states.

The quake hit at at 7:02 a.m. local time roughly 10 miles northwest of the town of Pawnee, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS), prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency.

Because the earthquake struck at a relatively shallow depth of around 4 miles, the tremor was also felt by people in Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Texas, according to the Associated Press.

USGS

Pawnee Mayor Brad Sewell told CNN he had visited the town's 911 dispatch office but that there were no reported injuries.

“I think it shook everybody up,” Sewell said. “It was just about time that a lot of us were waking up, and those who were not already awake certainly were awakened by the earthquake.”

“It was a sustained quaking. It lasted a long time,” he said.

The quake's magnitude matched another tremor felt in Oklahoma in 2011, according to the USGS.

“We have been having a lot of earthquakes here over the last couple of years. Most of those have been just single tremors. You feel it and it's gone. This continued. And it was very, very alarming for those of us who weren't used to this sort of thing,” the mayor said.

Images on social media showed damage to a stone building in the town's center, as well as items scattered off grocery store shelves.

Pawnee County Emergency Management officials said there had been “mild to moderate damage,” posting photos to Facebook of damaged brickwork.


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