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Three earthquakes strike central Oklahoma

Fireworks weren’t the only commotion rattling central Oklahoma this Fourth of July weekend. Three separate earthquakes occurred in the area since Friday, adhering to the area’s propensity for the quakes.

7 News reported two smaller incidents occurred early Friday morning: the larger, a 3.8 magnitude quake occurred shortly after midnight near Perry and the second, a 3.1 magnitude quake shook the area surrounding Medford around 5:45 a.m.

A third, smaller quake erupted near Jones in Oklahoma County, reaching a magnitude of 2.8, NewsChannel10 reports. Each of the quakes reached a magnitude the U.S. Geological Survey considers the smallest human can feel, though quakes with a magnitude under 4.0 don’t typically cause significant damage or injuries.

No injuries or damage from this weekend’s quakes were reported, but mounting concern over Oklahoma’s frequent quakes has prompted action from environmentalists. Geologists in the state cite oil and gas operations for the increase in quake, slating that it is “very likely that the majority of earthquakes” are triggered by injecting wastewater into the ground.

Geologists noticed the spike in earthquake activity about five years ago. Sandra Ladra suffered leg injuries during a 5.0 magnitude quake in 2011, when her chimney collapsed. Oklahoma courts ruled last week that Ladra can sue two oil companies who were injecting water near her home when the quakes occurred.

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