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Magnitude 5.0 earthquake shakes central Oklahoma

Magnitude 5.0 earthquake strikes Oklahoma
A handout released by the U.S. Geological Survey shows the location of a magnitude 5.0 earthquake that struck west of Cushing, Okla.
(EPA)

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has shaken central Oklahoma, causing damage to some structures.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported the earthquake struck at 7:44 p.m. Central time, with an epicenter located one mile west of Cushing, about 50 miles northeast of Oklahoma City. The USGS initially stated it was a magnitude 5.3 earthquake but lowered that rating to 5.0.

The quake was felt as far away as Kansas City, Mo., and Little Rock, Ark.

The Cushing Police Department reported “quite of bit of damage” from the earthquake but details were not immediately available. Photos posted to social media show piles of debris at the base of commercial buildings in the city.

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Cushing, which has a population of about 7,900, bills itself as the “Pipeline Crossroads of the World.” It is home to the Cushing Tank Farm, a massive oil storage facility that’s touted as the world’s largest.

According to USGS data, there have been 19 earthquakes in Oklahoma in the last week, including a 4.5-magnitude quake that struck the northern part of the state, with an epicenter near Pawnee.

Scientists have linked Oklahoma’s sharp increase in earthquakes to the underground disposal of wastewater from oil and gas production.

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The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has shut down some disposal wells and ordered a reduction in the amount of wastewater disposed of in others.

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