Oklahoma has been shaken by a series of earthquakes, culminating in a 5.6 magnitude quake that is the state’s biggest on record. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty
Earthquakes of up to 5.6 magnitude have shaken Oklahoma, damaging buildings and roads and sending a handful of people to hospital.
The first quake was recorded on Saturday morning at a magnitude of 4.7. The second came on Saturday night and is the largest recorded in Oklahoma, topping a tremor of 5.5 magnitude in 1952, according to the US Geological Survey.
In Prague, Oklahoma, where the first quake was centred, city manager Jim Greff said part of the town library’s ceiling collapsed and a chimney fell through the roof of a home. There were no serious injuries.
The quake buckled highway 62 in three places west of Prague and sent a boulder “about the size of an SUV” tumbling onto a rural road in south-east Lincoln County, said Aaron Bennett, dispatch supervisor for the county’s emergency management division.
The quake was felt more than 300 miles away in Kansas City, where it rattled windows and shook houses for half a minute.
The second quake was a shallow 3.1 miles (5 km) deep and centered four miles east of Sparks, east of Oklahoma City.
JL Gilbert, owner of the Sparks Vineyard and Winery, about four miles from the epicentre of the second quake, said it lasted “a good 30 seconds”.
“It was a pretty good jolt. We’re not used to this. We’re used to being sucked up into the wind,” he said, referring to Oklahoma’s reputation as a tornado alley.
Earthquakes of a 4.0 magnitude east of the Rocky Mountains can typically be felt from up to 60 miles away, according to the USGS. A 5.5 magnitude quake can be felt up to 300 miles from its epicentre.
One of Gilbert’s employees went to the hospital after tripping and hitting his head on a doorway while scrambling to get out of his home, Gilbert said.
Update : After the damage created by today’s earthquake the demolition of four churches in Ica is under discussion. The local mayor thinks they are not safe anymore because the 2007 earthquake has already weakened their structure.
Update : The people living at the coastal town of Pisco have been seriously alarmed by a fast retiring Ocean. Retiring oceans can be a signal for an upcoming tsunami.
Update : The Peruvian Civil Defense just announced that so far 17 people have been reported injuredand 35 houses collapsed.
Update : 29/10/2011 – 00:02 UTC : 17 minutes ago a powerful 5.5 magnitude aftershock struck the same area. Depth : 19.7 km This will go on and on for the coming hours and days, gradually decreasing in strength.
Update : The Peruvian President, Mr. Ollanta Humala, has called the population to remain calm. Mr. Humala is currently in Paraguay.
Update : Panic in Chincha, a coastal town about 120 km to the North of the epicenter. Parents run to the schools to rescue their children. People crowded the streets. Update : Good News : ICA is ONLINE again, We saw the first people with an IP address in Ica showing up in the site. Also our first I Have Felt It report from Ica. (see below)
Update : In the province of Huancavelica (to the NE of Ica province) a school was closed because of the damage. In Ascension, in the same province, a few abandoned shacks have collapsed.
Important Update : The Theoretical models of GDACS using an epicenter close to the coast are returning very damaging tsunami wavesup to 4.8 meter high (this is VERY high for tsunami waves). So far we have NO news from these coastal localities. We remind our readers that theoretical models are based on historical information and on information from seismological agencies. GDACS has used the USGS data for their computing. Based on the data below we are especially curious on the Huacho situation.
Update 23:21 UTC : Apparently, the earthquake was felt (with small or moderate intensity) in Huacho too. No damage was caused.
List of tsunami waves following the GDACS theoretical models
Tsunami wave model simulation – image courtesy GDACS
Update : The newspaper Peru21 says there are at least 20 persons injured. The newspaper Correo says 16 wounded are in ICA Regional Hospital and 4 other are in the San Juan de Dios Hospital in Pisco. Some of them are seriously wounded, many from falls caused by panic.
Update : So far we have almost NO news from the sparsely populated coastal area, the area at risk for a local tsunami.
Update : Two persons were seriously wounded in Acamayo (near Ica) and three houses have collapsed. Another ten persons suffered light injures and seven houses were damaged. Telephone lines and electricity are being re-established. (These data are preliminary and will certainly increase further)
The two persons seriously injured are two girls aged 9 and 19, with fractures in the femur and pelvis, caused by the falling walls of their houses, in Acomayo, near Ica. There are 12 injured persons, until now.
Update : The greater area of Ica province is out in the streets and will probably stay out in the streets all night.
Update22:23 UTC : Palpa has NO injured people as of now.
Update : Peruvian press is almost BLIND on the situation. Even regional ICA newspapers have at this momentonly a couple of lines and nothing detailed.
Update : As could be expected, the area is hit by multiple powerful aftershocks. Most people will not read our article and not only because they do not understand English but because telecommunications are down and sitting behind a computer does not serve to anything as there is NO power.
The most powerful aftershocks since the mainshock measured 4.7, 4.9 and 5.0.
Earthquake overview : After having experienced a foreshock with a magnitude of 4.6 at 5:30 PM on August 22, a second strong mainshock measuring 5.3 magnitude (5.5 initially reported) scared the Trinidad, Raton area.
UPDATE : A few homes have been damaged during this earthquake. No collapsed homes, but cracks in walls, broken windows, collapsed chimneys, etc. Earthquake-Report.com labels this as ‘minor damage’
UPDATE : Report from a girl on facebook : My father lives West of Trinidad (epicenter area ER) (Valdez-Segundo area) His chimney collapsed, walls were cracked, dishes broken. Some objects fell off the wall, but luckily everybody is safe.
UPDATE : Colorado State Patrol is reporting there is damage to I25 near mile markers 5 and 8. That is south of Trinidad, near the New Mexico border. Las Animas County reports damage to highway 12. They also say there is structural damage to some buildings in the area.