Oklahoma earthquakes have been decreasing since 2019 but the state continues to see gas and oil-linked earthquakes highlighting the need for being prepared and regulations for the industry.
In 2009, Oklahoma started to experience an Oklahoma surge. From 2014 through 2017 Oklahoma had more magnitude 3 and larger earthquakes than California.
This increase was linked to Oklahoma’s disposal wells that are used in the oil and gas industry. In 2016, there was a shutdown of these wells after Oklahoma experienced its largest earthquake. By 2019 we were seeing a decline in earthquakes.
Last year Oklahoma only had 78 earthquakes with a magnitude of 2.5 or greater. That’s the lowest count since 2009 when we had only 33 earthquakes of that size.
Are Oklahoma Earthquakes Starting Again?
How is Oklahoma looking for earthquakes in 2023? As of May 17th, the state has experienced 31 earthquakes. This puts Oklahoma on track to have a comparable number of earthquakes to the previous year. However, on April 6th, Carney, Oklahoma, was struck by a 4.0 magnitude quake, which was followed by several significant aftershocks.
The impact of this earthquake was significant enough that regulators took action. The day after the earthquake hit Carney, they informed some injection well operators near the epicenter that they would need to cease operations indefinitely. This response reflects the ongoing efforts to mitigate earthquake risks and address potential connections between seismic activity and certain industrial practices.
While the situation highlights the importance of vigilance and preparedness, it also underscores the need for continued monitoring and research to better understand and manage earthquake risks in Oklahoma. By staying informed about seismic activity, following safety guidelines, and supporting regulatory measures, individuals and communities can contribute to a safer and more resilient future in the face of earthquakes.
Staying Prepare for Oklahoma Earthquakes
While the earthquakes in Oklahoma continue to be monitored with oil and gas remaining a large industry in the state and disposal wells continuing to be used, there will remain a risk for earthquakes, including large earthquakes.
Being prepared for earthquakes in Oklahoma is crucial due to the state’s increased seismic activity in recent years. Here are some essential steps to ensure your safety:
- Stay informed: Stay updated on earthquake risks and warnings through local news, radio, or smartphone apps. Follow reputable sources for accurate information.
- Create an emergency plan: Establish a family emergency plan that includes communication strategies, meeting points, and designated responsibilities for each family member.
- Prepare an emergency kit: Assemble a disaster supply kit with essentials like water, non-perishable food, first aid supplies, flashlights, batteries, and a battery-powered radio.
- Secure your home: Identify and fix potential hazards in your home, such as unsecured heavy furniture, improperly anchored shelves, or loose objects that could become projectiles during shaking.
- Know safe spots: Identify safe areas in your home, workplace, or school, such as under sturdy furniture or against an interior wall away from windows.
- Practice drop, cover, and hold on: During an earthquake, drop to the ground, take cover under a sturdy object, and hold on until the shaking stops.
- Develop a communication plan: Establish a way to communicate with loved ones after an earthquake, such as text messages or social media, as voice calls may be overwhelmed.
- Educate yourself: Learn basic first aid and CPR techniques, as well as how to shut off utilities like gas, water, and electricity to prevent further damage or hazards.
Remember, preparedness is key to mitigating the risks associated with earthquakes. Stay vigilant, educate yourself, and take proactive steps to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your property in the event of an earthquake.
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