Earthquake rolls Oklahoma City area

By Patrick B. McGuigan

Published: 13-Oct-2010

Oklahoma City — An earthquake registering 4.5 on the Richter scale roiled the Oklahoma City area this morning (Wednesday, October 13) at around 9 a.m. Tremors were felt later in other locations, multiple sources have said.

In response to a reporter’s phone call a few minutes after the quake, a source with the Oklahoma City Fire Department told CapitolBeatOK the tremor was felt in west Oklahoma City, Norman (south of the city), the Harrah-Newalla area on the east, and Edmond in the north. However, as of 9:30 a.m. the fire chief’s office said there had been no calls asking for emergency assistance.

A state Department of Agriculture employee who works south of Norman told CapitolBeatOK, “We felt it in Goldsby and some family members felt it in Purcell and Pauls Valley. It shook our whole building and people working outside felt the ground move up under their feet.”

A woman who lives on N.W. 23rd Street near Drexel Blvd. described what happened at her home shortly after 9 a.m. this morning:

“I was upstairs in my 2-story brick house. … At a second or two before my house began to shake, my small dog leaped into my lap and almost immediately I began to feel as if my whole house was beginning to uproot itself.  Things hanging on my wall made some noise and the movement that seemed to begin on the bottom floor moved to the second floor which shook much more than the ground floor.  As the initial shock wore down, I felt tremors for a few seconds and then all subsided – except for the dog clinging to my waist!”

An employee at an office directly south of the state Capitol said the tremor was felt there at 9:07 a.m.

Later, in telephone interviews with individuals across Oklahoma, this writer was told the quake was felt across much of state. One teacher in Tulsa who did not notice the tremor there said her students walked into class asking her, soon after 9 a.m., “Did you feel that?” The teacher had not noticed the rumbling.

Many living or working in the geographic middle of the Oklahoma City did not notice the quake. For instance, the tremor was not noticed in the MidCity neighborhood of Crown Heights.

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, in a statement distributed at mid-morning, said, “It’s obviously extremely unusual for an earthquake of this magnitude to be felt in Oklahoma City.  Fortunately, we have no reports of injuries or significant damage.  We are awaiting further information but we have no reason to believe this is anything other than merely an interesting event.”

Paul Sund, spokesman for Governor Brad Henry, said the state’s chief executive was working at his computer shortly after 9 a.m. and was among those who felt the tremor.