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Oklahoma 5.6 magnitude quake causes damage

By Reuters
Sunday, November 6, 2011 7:34 EDT
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OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) – A 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck in Oklahoma late on Saturday evening, the U.S. Geological Survey said, toppling chimneys, damaging buildings and sending some people to hospitals with minor injuries.

The quake was stronger than a tremor of 5.5 magnitude in 1952, which was the largest earthquake previously recorded in Oklahoma, according to the USGS.

It was the second quake recorded in the state within 24 hours after a tremor of 4.7 magnitude early on Saturday near Oklahoma City.

J.L. Gilbert, owner of the Sparks Vineyard and Winery, about four miles from the epicenter of the quake, said it lasted “a good 30 seconds.”

“It was a pretty good jolt. We’re not used to this. We’re used to being sucked up into the wind,” he said, referring to Oklahoma’s reputation as a tornado alley.

One of Gilbert’s employees went to the hospital after tripping and hitting his head on a doorway while scrambling to get out of his home, Gilbert said.

In Prague, Oklahoma, where the earlier quake was centered, City Manager Jim Greff said the latest temblor caused a chimney to topple over and crash through the roof of a home, but no serious injuries were reported.

Part of the ceiling grid in the Prague library collapsed during the quake, but the walls remained intact, Greff said.

A dispatcher for Lincoln county, east of Oklahoma City, said there were many reports of damage.

The quake was felt more than 300 miles away in Kansas City, where it rattled windows and shook houses for half a minute, a Reuters witness said.

The second quake was a shallow 3.1 miles deep and was centered 4 miles east of Sparks, which is east of Oklahoma City.

Earthquakes of a 4.0 magnitude east of the Rocky Mountains can typically be felt from up to 60 miles away, according to the USGS. A 5.5 magnitude quake can be felt up to 300 miles from its epicenter.

(Editing by Greg McCune and Vicki Allen)

Mochila insert follows.

Reuters
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