The Pryor Times

Local News

November 7, 2011

Oklahoma earthquakes

Norman residents were still a little shaken up Sunday after Saturday’s round of earthquakes.

Although no damage has been reported in the Norman area as a result of the earthquakes, which rolled through Norman early and late Saturday, residents spent much of the day sharing tales of where they were during the quakes.

“I felt it very well,” Gary Griffitts said. “I was laying in bed when it happened and all I could do was just lay there like I was frozen in time, felt like I was on a boat being rocked side to side. I hope to not have to go through this again, but with the world changing, I bet it happens again.”

The U.S. Geological Survey said on its website Saturday that a 4.7 magnitude earthquake struck at 2:12 a.m., with an epicenter about six miles north of Prague in Lincoln County, about 50 miles east of Oklahoma City. A 3.4 magnitude aftershock was reported at 2:27 a.m. from the same location, as well as a 2.7 magnitude aftershock at 2:44 a.m.

Later that day, at 10:53 p.m., a 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck approximately 21 miles northeast of Shawnee in Pottawatomie County, approximately 44 miles northeast of Oklahoma City.

The tremors were strong enough to be felt throughout much of the state and cause rocking in many places that could be felt and seen.

“We live in Brookhaven and it woke my kids from a sound sleep,” Shae Parish-Stocks said. “The freakiest thing was our swimming pool water was rocking side to side and sloshing out. You could definitely tell an earthquake had just happened.”

Many residents said that although they knew the earthquake may not have been that serious, they defaulted back to training they received as children on what to do when the ground starts to shake.

“It felt like the floor was going to break from underneath the house; the walls were vibrating and the power was flickering,” Theresa Eultgen said. “I immediately got myself away from ceiling fans. (I was) recalling the grade school safety tips.”

Several residents reported that their animals seemed to sense that something was about to happen before the rumbles even began.

“My dog was very anxious to go outside right before it happened,” Kristi Wright said. “Now I know why. (I was) sitting at my desk and the floor and desk started swaying. (A) couple pictures fell off the walls and canned food fell off the shelf in the garage. It was very scary.”

Norman Police Lt. Lance Arnold said no damage was reported, although the system became flooded with hundreds of calls in the minutes following the earthquake late Saturday, most of them verifying what had occurred. The police also received calls about burglary alarms that went off, which kept them busy.

“One of the after affects is we currently have nine burglary alarms going off,” Arnold said Saturday night. “They were probably all caused by the earthquake, but we check to make sure.”

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