1 Injured, Dozens Of Buildings Damaged As 5.0 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Cushing
A 5.0 magnitude earthquake struck Sunday night near the city of Cushing, damaging buildings, knocking out power, and forcing the evacuation of an assisted living center.
Updated 9:33 a.m.
One injury has been reported and 40-50 buildings sustained substantial damage, primarily near downtown Cushing.
“We’re talking about quarter-of-an-inch to half-inch cracks. Pieces of the façade have come off into the street, especially downtown in some of the older buildings,” Cushing city manager Steve Spears said during a news conference Monday morning. “The parapet walls fell into the street, and then there are a couple buildings some of the facing façade has come off and fallen.”
Spears says most of the buildings damaged downtown date from the early 1900s, but the city’s public safety building, which is less than a decade old, also sustained damage.
Spears said the city is now in the recovery stage, trying to determine the full extent of the damage and cost of repair. The city is in contact with the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency is on site assisting as well.
Fire Chief Chris Pixler said only one injury has been reported so far, by a man who walked in to the city’s public safety center last night.
“He was trying to get out of his house, something got him on the arm, he had a laceration on the arm,” Pixler said. “So we took care of him and got him on to the hospital.”
The earthquake was felt across the state and into Kansas and Texas. The U.S. Geological Survey initially rated the 7:44 p.m. earthquake as 5.3, but later downgraded it to 5.0.
A full assessment is underway, but as of Monday morning no major injuries have been reported.
Emergency crews worked through the night to secure buildings and survey damage after the quake, which sheared brick facades off buildings and left piles of rubble and broken glass in downtown Cushing.
Initial reports show 40 residents evacuated from Cimarron Towers Retirement Home & are being sheltered at Cushing's youth center gymnasium.— Governor Mary Fallin (@GovMaryFallin) November 7, 2016
Gov. Mary Fallin says Cushing Public Schools are closed Monday to assess any damage and ensure the safety of students.
Both the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority have inspected bridges in the area around the earthquake and found no damage.
The American Red Cross has opened a shelter to the public at the Cushing Youth Center, and cots, blankets, and supplies are available to residents affected by the quake.
The city is home to one of the country's largest crude oil storage hubs, but Assistant City Manager Jeremy Frazier said there were no signs of spills or leaks overnight.
“We've had contact with some of our tank farms in the local Cushing area and, at this time, there's been no damage reported to the terminals,” Frazier said. “So we're lucky in that regard.”
Last year, scientists and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security sounded alarms about earthquakes near the oil center, where tens of millions of barrels of crude are stored.
We asked our listeners to check in with reports of where they felt the earthquake:
Yes, in OKC!— Lauren Capraro (@LaurenCapraro) November 7, 2016
felt in Norman!— Sara Ingle (Dunlop) (@Sara_Dunlop) November 7, 2016
All the way up in Wichita.— Nadya Faulx (@NadyaFaulx) November 7, 2016
Tulsa— ༒𝒥𝑒𝓃𝓃𝓎༒ (@pploflightunite) November 7, 2016
Locust Grove.— Robert Jones (@RobertJ70430625) November 7, 2016