Another Oklahoma earthquake damaged homes and businesses Sunday. On November 6, 2016 at 7:44 CST, a quake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale rattled central Oklahoma. The epicenter was near Cushing, some 50 miles northeast of Oklahoma City. The shock was felt as far away as Dallas, Kansas City and Little Rock, Ark.
Pictures of the damage were shown in social media; debris lay piled up at the base of commercial buildings.
Pipeline Crossroads of the World
Cushing (pop. 7,900) is home to the world’s largest oil storage facility, Cushing Tank Farms. The city calls itself the “Pipeline Crossroads of the World.”
Scientists have linked Oklahoma’s sharp uptick in earthquakes to underground disposal of wastewater from oil and gas production. In the process of fracking, millions of gallons of water and frack chemicals are pumped into the earth in order to fracture the shale rock far below and force out “natural” gas. That fracking fluid is then extracted and pumped deep into the earth at another location, which experts think is what triggers the quakes.
Oklahoma experienced roughly one or two earthquakes a year for some 100 years. That all changed in 2009 with the introduction of widespread fracking throughout the state. More than 50 earthquakes fractured the state that year and every year since. More than 300 quakes rattled the Sooner state in 2010.
Property owners who have seen their homes and businesses damaged by the quakes have begun to file earthquake lawsuits against the fracking companies they believe responsible for the damages.