Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Record Oklahoma Earthquake Felt in Area; Fracking Link Suspected

One of the biggest earthquakes to ever hit the area was felt Saturday morning. Numerous people around the area were woken up by it. There was an initial tremor big enough to rattle the closet door in our bedroom, then a smaller tremor. The shock could be felt as far north as Des Moines and Ottumwa (IA) and as far south as Dallas. It was felt as far east as Tennessee and as far west as Arizona.

The shock was one of the biggest quakes to hit Oklahoma. It registered at 5.6 on the Richter Scale. Earthquakes like it and thousands of others in the area have been attributed by scientists and regulators to the disposal of millions of tons of wastewater that is then pumped to the surface as part of hydraulic fracking. A similar quake was felt in Prague (OK) back in 2011. Multiple news outlets reports that state regulators have ordered well operators to stop wastewater injections in a 725 square mile ellipse around the quake’s epicenter. The State of Oklahoma declared a state of emergency.

The Oklahoma TV station KFOR reports that many people are worried about the state of bridges in the state despite assurances from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation that there were only two bridges that have what they called “cosmetic damage.” The group “Fix Your Roads Oklahoma” alleges that one bridge on Highway 64 near Morrison had an 18” by 24” chunk that fell off of a bridge that they say has already been beaten up.

The fault lines in Oklahoma are not the worst ones to worry about for Missouri. The New Madrid Fault Line is one of the biggest areas for seismic activity in the US. The Missouri DNR states that the region is overdue for a quake of 6.0 or so on the Richter Scale, while saying there is a 7-10% chance of a 7.5 or 8.0 quake similar to the one in 1811-1812. Fox 2 of St. Louis reports that insurance deductibles for a normal home in the area are as high as $30,000.

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