A magnitude 5.6 earthquake that matched the most powerful quake that had previously occurred in in Oklahoma in November 2011, rattled residents from Arizona to Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago and was felt by at least two residents of Bluff Dale.
“I was still in bed when it hit, but was awake, when all of a sudden the house started to shake. I looked at the clock and it said 7:02," said Cathey Sims-Hartmann. “I’ve never experienced an earthquake before, so I didn’t realize that’s what it was until I saw the story on TV about the quake in Oklahoma and they mentioned the time it occurred as 7:02.
“Until then I thought maybe it was just a large truck on the road or something. I live on a cliff and it’s stone underneath the house, so maybe that’s why I felt it so clearly.”
Mary Grantham, also of Bluff Dale, felt it too.
“I was sitting in my recliner and it began to rock back and forth, kind of like when you’re in a small boat on the water. I’ve never been in an earthquake before, so it was a very strange sensation.”
Neither Sims-Hartmann nor Grantham reported any damage to their homes or contents, although Sims-Hartmann says, “I’ve found light dustings of white powder in two closets, and I assume that’s from the coating on the drywall in the ceilings, but other than that I haven’t found anything else that’s damaged.”
About the quake, the Associated Press reported, “An increase in magnitude 3.0 or greater earthquakes in Oklahoma has been linked to underground disposal of wastewater from oil and natural gas production.
“The Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which since 2013 has asked wastewater-well owners to reduce disposal volumes in parts of the state, is requiring 37 wells in a 514 square-mile area around the epicenter of the earthquake to shut down within seven to 10 days because of previous connections between the injection of wastewater and earthquakes.”
Matt Skinner of the commission was quoted in the AP story as saying, "All of our actions have been based on the link that researchers have drawn between the Arbuckle disposal well operations and earthquakes in Oklahoma.
"We're trying to do this as quickly as possible, but we have to follow the recommendations of the seismologists, who tell us everything going off at once can cause an (earthquake)."
Pawnee County Emergency Management Director Mark Randell said, "We've got buildings cracked. Most of it's brick and mortar, old buildings from the early 1900s."
He added that no major injuries had been reported, although one man had been treated for a minor blow to the head from a falling object but was not hospitalized.