Special Reports
Magnitude M3.9 earthquake jolts the Midwest

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Friday, February 8, 2002

An earthquake registering M3.9 occurred this morning in Comanche County of southwestern Oklahoma, shaking a wide area but not causing any damage or injuries.

According to the National Earthquake Information Center, the quake struck at 10:07 a.m. (16:07 GMT) about 25 miles north-northwest of Duncan and 5.6 miles north of Lawton at Fort Sill, near the Corral Crossing Underpass on Interstate 44. See a Topozone location map or a MapQuest road map. See the instrument location from the EQ Flash! earthquake alert bulletin.

The Oklahoma Geological Survey reported a M3.8 for the event. See their data page.

The quake was locally felt, causing windows to rattle and walls to shake. Many noted sounds like thunder or an explosion and many thought it was artillery from Fort Sill, but was distinctly different. The ground then began to shake and they realized it was an earthquake. Artillery tests at the nearby Fort Sill Army Post often shake the area.

There were reports of an items toppling from tables and shelves and a few reports of broken dishes that fell from cabinets. Some noticed a suspension cables swayed back and forth and others said hanging plants swung. Some noted their building swayed back and forth.

Many people were surprised by the shaking none said they were frightened.

The quake occurred near the Meers Fault, a prominent geologic structure that extends for about 90 km and is capable of earthquakes registering about M7. It is plainly visible from the air and can be seen on the ground in many locations. The last strong earthquake on the Meers Fault occurred between 500 to 2000 years ago.

Oklahoma has about 90 earthquakes per year but this was the largest earthquake since April 1998. A M5.2 in 1952 caused damage to buildings in the El Reno area.

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Report update: 9:12:41 PM, Wednesday, March 27, 2002

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