A powerful 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck Oklahoma the morning of Sept. 3, causing mild damage to structures and roads across the northern part of the state. The epicenter of the earthquake was 9 miles north of Pawnee, Oklahoma, a small town with just over 2,000 residents. Since the depth of the earthquake was relatively shallow, people as far north as Omaha and as far south as Austin could feel the rumble. Still, the damage of the Pawnee earthquake was kept mostly to the epicenter and the immediate area.
Most of the damage occurred in Pawnee and other small towns in the Northern Oklahoma area. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin tweeted on Saturday that staff members with the Department of Emergency Management, as well as structural engineers, were sent to Pawnee to assess the damage. "Crews from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation are checking bridges in the Pawnee area," Fallin tweeted.
Photos posted on Twitter show numerous residential and commercial buildings in Pawnee with structural damage, ranging from broken windows and fallen bricks to uprooted sidewalks and cracked roads. At least one section of Pawnee's Main Street was closed off Saturday morning due to heavy damage in the area.
Photos also reveal grocery stores with items from the shelves littering the aisles. Fortunately, no injuries have been reported.
Other towns in Northern Oklahoma also sustained some damage from the 5.6 magnitude earthquake.
Fortunately, some people in the area had a sense of humor about the earthquake, which was powerful for the Midwest but hardly the worst earthquake to ever strike the continental United States.
This 5.6 magnitude earthquake was a record-tying earthquake for Oklahoma. In 2011, a 5.6 magnitude earthquake also hit north of Oklahoma City, rocking the Midwest. The 2011 Oklahoma earthquake also caused quite a bit of structural damage throughout the area, buckling a highway and causing bricks to tumble from building facades.
Screenshot: U.S. Geological Survey