Oklahoma earthquake rattles North Texans

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 5:58 PM

Oklahoma earthquake

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UNIVERSITY PARK — North Texas felt the shake, as one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded in Oklahoma happened Wednesday morning.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the 4.3 magnitude quake was centered about six miles northeast of Norman, Oklahoma and struck at 9:06 a.m.

The quake was felt in five states and as far as 170 miles away. There was some minor damage in Oklahoma. Two minor injuries were reported.

People across North Texas — from Sherman to Dallas — felt the effects.

Don and Frances Jones were in their Little Elm home watching coverage of the mining rescue in Chile, when something suddenly felt very strange.

"All of a sudden, the chairs felt like they were quivering," Frances Jones said.

Lewisville Assistant Police Chief Todd Taylor was sitting at his desk, working on his computer, when he felt the earthquake.

"I heard things on my desk shaking. I felt my desk shaking and felt my chair move a little bit," Taylor said.

SMU's geological sciences department monitored the seismic activity. Professor Brian Stump said while moderate earthquakes in the region are uncommon, it's rare for anyone to feel them.

"Maybe every 10 years we'll have an event we might feel," Stump said.

The professor said the odds of a major earthquake in North Texas with a magnitude of five or higher are slim to none. But because seismic waves travel further east of the Rockies, our chances of feeling moderate quakes of magnitude 4 and lower are great.

"Even though we might not have many earthquakes here, when we have them, they're felt over a broader area," Stump said.

And contrary to what many people might conclude, there has not been an increase in seismic activity in North Texas, Stump said.

The difference is: On Wednesday, we felt it.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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