Kansas earthquake felt in Oklahoma, Texas and beyond


An unusually strong earthquake shook southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma on Wednesday afternoon and was felt hundreds of miles away.

The magnitude 4.8 quake struck at 3:40p.m. CST, and its epicenter was 33 miles southwest of Wichita, at a depth of 3.1 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The strongest earthquake in Kansas’ history was a magnitude 5.1 temblor in 1867.


Earthquake activity in the area has greatly increased in recent years. The USGS has said a likely factor in the dramatic rise in earthquakes in Oklahoma is wastewater injection, a byproduct of the oil and gas industry practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Forty earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 or greater have rattled northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas in the last week, according to the USGS. Wednesday afternoon’s was by far the strongest.

No injuries have been reported, Sharon Watson of Kansas Emergency Management told The Times. The only report of damage so far has been in the town of Milan, near the epicenter, where a tree was uprooted and cracked the foundation of a home, she said.

People using the USGS website’s “Did You Feel It?” feature reported feeling the quake as far away as Arkansas, Texas, Iowa and Tennessee.

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