Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 1
November 6, 2011 4:30 p.m.
EARTHQUAKES RATTLE STATE
Due to the earthquake activity Oklahoma continues to experience, emergency managers and other key agencies and organizations are responding to damage reports. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management has staff in the field assisting with local damage assessments. In addition to emergency managers in the affected area, OEM remains in contact with officials at the Oklahoma Geological Survey, U.S. Geological Survey, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Oklahoma Corporation Commission, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Weather Service, American Red Cross and The Salvation Army.
This weekend’s earthquake activity began with a 4.7 magnitude earthquake which occurred at 2:15 a.m. Saturday, with the epicenter located near Prague. A record-breaking 5.6 magnitude earthquake followed Saturday night around 11 p.m. near Sparks. The quake was felt as far away as Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Tennessee and Wisconsin. More than 40 aftershocks have also occurred in the Sparks, Prague, Meeker area. The largest aftershock was a magnitude 4.0 earthquake reported at 3:39 a.m. today, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The Oklahoma Geological Survey reports they are in the process of collecting data from the earthquakes which occurred along a known fault line. OKGS warns Oklahomans to anticipate still more aftershocks. Anyone living in a home already affected by the earthquakes should be aware that future aftershocks may cause additional damage.
Saturday night’s earthquake breaks the former record dating back to 1952 when a 5.5 magnitude earthquake struck the El Reno area, USGS records show.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health reports two minor injuries related to the Saturday night earthquake. A Lincoln County resident was injured when he hit his head trying to run out of his home during the earthquake. The second victim is a female from Pottawatomie County who cut her foot on broken glass after the earthquake. Neither required hospitalization.
DAMAGE TO HOMES, BUSINESSES
Lincoln County Emergency Management reports 12 homes sustained minor damage. Most involve cracks in sheetrock and brick facade damage. Some roofs and chimneys were also damaged. Additional reports of earthquake damage continue to be received by 911 operators. Officials with American Red Cross, Salvation Army and OEM assisted with the damage assessments.
Shawnee-Pottawatomie County Emergency Management reports minor damage to one home in Shawnee and one home in Aydelotte. One business in Shawnee sustained minor damage and one building on St. Gregory’s University campus also sustained minor damage.
DAMAGE TO INFRASTRUCTURE
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is continuing inspections of the on-system bridges within a 50-mile radius of the epicenter. If any areas of concern are found, ODOT will close the bridge until repairs are made. So far nothing has been found to cause concern.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports that dam sites within an approximate 70-mile radius of the earthquake epicenter have been inspected. No problems were noted. These include dams at Arcadia, Heyburn, Keystone, Eufaula and Skiatook.
EARTHQUAKE SAFETY TIPS
Before an earthquake
Assemble an emergency preparedness kit for home and your vehicle.
Have a family emergency plan and identify a safe place to take cover, such as under a sturdy table or desk.
Teach your family how to “Drop, Cover and Hold” during an earthquake.
Check for hazards inside or outside your home or office. Heavy objects and falling hazards such as bookcases, hanging picture frames and other items can be dangerous if they are unstable and not anchored securely to a wall or the floor.
Know emergency telephone numbers.
Contact your insurance agent to review existing policies and to inquire about earthquake insurance
Sign up for Earthquake Notifications on the USGS site as well as learn about other products and services they offer.
During an earthquake
“Drop, Cover and Hold” - DROP to the floor; take COVER under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, seek cover against an interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms. HOLD ON until the shaking stops.
Stay away from glass or bookshelves, mirrors or other items that could fall.
If outside: stand in an open area away from underpasses and overpasses, buildings, trees, telephone, and electrical lines.
If on the road: drive away from underpasses and overpasses; stop in a safe area; stay in your vehicle.
After an earthquake
Check for injuries and provide first aid if necessary.
Do a safety check: check for gas, water, downed power lines and shortages. Turn off appropriate utilities, if you shut off the main gas valve do not turn it back on yourself. Wait for the gas company to check for leaks and make repairs.
Turn on the radio and listen for instructions on safety or recovery actions.
Use the telephone for emergencies only.
When safe follow your family emergency plan.
Be cautious when opening cabinets.
Stay away from damaged areas.
Be prepared for aftershocks.
For additional information on individual, family and community preparedness you may visit the following websites:
A severe weather threat returns to areas of the state beginning Monday. A storm system will approach Oklahoma late tonight through Tuesday, bringing a chance for much needed rainfall and potentially severe thunderstorms. Severe thunderstorms are possible Monday afternoon and evening across much of central and western Oklahoma. The severe threat will continue into Tuesday for eastern Oklahoma. After Tuesday, dry conditions return with a warming trend.
For Oklahoma residents seeking non-emergency disaster or health and human service information, please contact your local 2-1-1. Services are available 24 hours a day by dialing 2-1-1 from your home or cellular telephone. Please only call 911 for emergencies.
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Next Situation Update: As conditions warrant