Barton County residents were among those on the High Plains who felt an intense earthquake that shook the region early Wednesday morning.
The magnitude-4.7 quake was centered about nine miles southwest of Cherokee, Okla., and occurred at 1:42 a.m. Thursday at a depth of 3.9 miles, the United States Geological Survey reported.
Some area residents reported feeling the tremblor, and even being awakened by the shaking and the sound. But there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
Two other earthquakes were reported later Thursday: a 3.1-magnitude temblor at 3:46 a.m. and a 3.7-magnitude quake at 6:03 a.m. Both were centered in the same region of Oklahoma, which is near the state’s border with Kansas which is about 130 miles south of Great Bend.
The National Earthquake Information Center reported that Oklahoma has seen more than 20 magnitude 4 quakes this year.
According to information from the USDS, quakes with a magnitude of 4.0 to 4.9 are considered “light.” They man cause noticeable shaking of indoor objects and rattling noises. Felt by most people in the affected area. Slightly felt outside. Generally causes none to minimal damage. Moderate to significant damage very unlikely. Some objects may fall off shelves or be knocked over.
There are between 10,000 and 15,000 such quakes reported annually.
Quakes are rated on the Richter Scale. The Richter magnitude scale was developed in 1935 by Charles F. Richter of the California Institute of Technology to compare the size of earthquakes. The magnitude is determined from the logarithm of the amplitude of waves recorded by seismographs.
For example, a 5.3 might be computed as moderate, and a strong earthquake might be rated as 6.3. Because of the logarithmic basis, each whole number increase in magnitude represents a tenfold increase in measured amplitude and a release of about 31 times more energy.