3.1 Magnitude Earthquake Recorded in Central Oklahoma
GUTHRIE, Okla. – July 2, 2018
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a 3.1 magnitude earthquake has been recorded in central Oklahoma.
There were no reports of serious damage.
The agency recorded the earthquake at 9:58 p.m. on Saturday, about 8 miles (12.5 kilometers) east of Guthrie. The temblor was recorded at a depth of nearly 5.5 miles (8.7 kilometers).
Thousands of earthquakes have been recorded in Oklahoma in recent years. Many experts believe that the majority of these earthquakes are man-made. They have been linked to underground injections of wastewater from oil and natural gas production.
According to a USGS study, underground disposal of wastewater from fracking may pose "a significant and as-yet-unquantified risk" to the integrity of critical infrastructure, such as major dams.
Scientists believe that such anthropogenic earthquakes can reach 7 on the Richter scale, a magnitude more than sufficient to provoke mass destruction.
The most destructive artificial earthquake in the US was in the city of Prague in Oklahoma. It was a 5.6-point magnitude quake and destroyed several dozen houses.
State regulators have directed several oil and gas producers in the state to close injection wells or reduce the volume of wastewater injections.