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5.1 magnitude earthquake rattles Oklahoma Friday night, OCC to shut down wastewater injection sites

 Looking in the direction of the second 1921 Seismic Reflection experiment, this time in the Arbuckle Mountains.
Rachel Hopkin
Looking in the direction of the second 1921 Seismic Reflection experiment, this time in the Arbuckle Mountains.

A strong 5.1 magnitude earthquake rattled Oklahoma shortly before 11:30 p.m. Friday. The epicenter was located near Prague, about 60 miles southwest of Tulsa.

The shaking could be felt statewide including in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, according to the Oklahoma Geological Survey.

OGS said Oklahomans should expect strong aftershocks in the coming weeks.

A 5.7 magnitude earthquake hit nearly the same area in 2011. That event was linked to oil and gas wastewater disposal activities.

Officials say it's possible Friday night's quake could be linked to injecting wastewater from fracking in the area.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is issuing a directive to shut down all disposal wells into and within 10 miles of the Arbuckle Mountains by Feb. 17.

OCC says the gradual shutdown process is necessary to avoid sudden pressure changes that could result in more seismic activity.

Oklahoma Corporation Commission
A map of the area showing the wells impacted by the directive.

The commission says the order to shut down all disposal wells within the vicinity is an initial response. Further study may result in new directives.

No significant damage was reported from Friday night's earthquake.

StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership of Oklahoma’s public radio stations which relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.

Britny reported for StateImpact Oklahoma with an emphasis on science and environment.
StateImpact Oklahoma reports on education, health, environment, and the intersection of government and everyday Oklahomans. It's a reporting project and collaboration of KGOU, KOSU, KWGS and KCCU, with broadcasts heard on NPR Member stations.
Nyk has worked in radio since 2011 serving as a board operator, on-air announcer and production director for commercial radio stations in Iowa. Originally from the Quad Cities area, Nyk joined KGOU in 2018 as a practicum student studying Creative Media Production at OU. Upon graduating the following year, he became part of KGOU’s staff and is now the local Morning Edition host. When not on the air, Nyk likes to read, listen to music and follow news about the radio industry.
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