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Quake expert's report shouldn't rattle Lawtonians

There's a whole lot of shaking going on in the state, but Southwest Oklahoma is safe.

That's according to William Andrews, director of the U.S. Geological Survey Oklahoma Water Science office in Norman. Andrews spoke to the Greater Lawton Rotary Club during its meeting Thursday at the Wichita Room at Cameron University. 

"There are several hundred earthquakes happening in Oklahoma right now, but they're so light, it doesn't even register on our maps," he said. "Most are natural and not concerning. It's the big ones and the increased frequency of earthquakes in the north that has us worried."

Andrews described the earth to the men and women gathered Thursday as a hard boiled egg with a cracked shell. Each piece of that shell  the plates below the earth's surface  are in constant motion and often collide and rub up against each other. More often than not, the vibration caused from those plates is so light that most instruments don't register it and even fewer feel them. But there has been a noted increase in earthquake activity in and around central and north central Oklahoma over the last three years, Andrews said. The number of earthquakes above a 3 magnitude of intensity rose to more than 500 over the last three years.

"Before that, we would have about two earthquakes of that magnitude a year," Andrews said. 

The Lawton Constitution

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