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At least 4 earthquakes, including a 4.3, strike central Oklahoma

String of earthquakes strikes central Oklahoma, the strongest a 4.3 magnitude
Oklahoma has had an unprecedented surge in earthquakes in recent years, including a 5,000% increase last year
Scientists suggest a connection between fracking and the unprecedented spate of earthquakes in Oklahoma

At least four earthquakes, ranging in magnitude from 2.9 to 4.3, struck about 30 miles north of Oklahoma City on Saturday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. 

The 4.3-magnitude temblor hit at 12:11 p.m. outside Langston, Okla., and a 3.2-magnitude quake was recorded about 6:30 a.m. in the same area, the USGS reported. 

There were no reports of injuries or damaged property, Langston Police Chief Jonathan Hallmark said. 

Oklahoma has experienced an unprecedented surge in earthquakes in recent years. The state had 109 temblors measuring 3.0 or greater in 2013, more than 5,000% above normal.

Scientists from the USGS and several universities have suggested there is a link between the quakes and the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to extract oil and natural gas.

Hallmark said he was driving when the strongest quake struck and he did not feel it. 

"It has been going on for around a year," he said of the spate of quakes. "We never really had them, then all of a sudden started getting them."  Two quakes shook the town of Guthrie around noon as well. The first, a 2.9-magnitude quake, struck at 11:47 a.m. about five miles east of the town. A 3.0-magnitude quake followed in the same area about 12:30 p.m.

Follow @jpanzar for breaking news.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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