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Quake rattles Wichita area; damage reported at Okla. power plant

Eagle reporter Oliver Morrison explains why Sunday's earthquake is a big deal

A magnitude-5.0 earthquake struck near Cushing, Okla., between Tulsa and Oklahoma City, on Sunday night, Nov. 6, 2016. (Video by Oliver Morrison / The Wichita Eagle)
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A magnitude-5.0 earthquake struck near Cushing, Okla., between Tulsa and Oklahoma City, on Sunday night, Nov. 6, 2016. (Video by Oliver Morrison / The Wichita Eagle)

At around 7:44 p.m. on Sunday, an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.0 struck near Cushing, Okla., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was widely felt a few minutes later in the Wichita area and other parts of south-central Kansas.

Residents as far away as Little Rock also reported feeling the temblor, according to the Associated Press.

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There were reports of damage in Cushing, according to emergency dispatchers, but the full extent is still unknown, although photos on social media showed widespread damage to buildings and contents.

A building where the local newspaper, the Cushing Citizen, is published, also suffered damage.

“The earthquake has already triggered several small aftershocks along a known fault. There is about a one in 20 chance that one of these aftershocks could be even more powerful than the original earthquake, within days or even years into the future, according to a statement released Monday by the Oklahoma Geological Survey’s director, Jeremy Boak.”

“We got pretty good damage,” said a worker named David who answered the phone at the Cushing power plant on Sunday. He did not provide his last name. He said his supervisor would provide details about the damage on Monday morning.

Schools in Cushing have canceled classes for Monday, according to the district’s Facebook page, so the buildings can be assessed for any earthquake damage and to “ensure (the) safety of our students.”

The Cushing youth and community center posted on its Facebook page that it would also be closed on Monday.

Sedgwick County dispatchers said they received eight calls about the quake but no reports of damage.

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The USGS’ Did You Feel It? section collects information from people who felt an earthquake and creates maps that show what people experienced and the extent of damage. To report feeling an earthquake, go to http://earthquake.usgs.gov/data/dyfi/index.php, then click on the “Report an Unknown Event” button.

An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.5 struck just last week with an epicenter near Pawnee, Okla., that was also felt in the Wichita area.

Here’s what people on social media had to say about Sunday night’s quake.

FEMA explains what you should do before an earthquake happens and when it occurs in an animated video called "When The Earth Shakes."

(FILE VIDEO - OCTOBER 25, 2016) Students at Wichita's Woodman Elementary take part in an earthquake drill. USD 259 recently implemented a new earthquake safety policy in response to an increase in seismic activity in Kansas and Oklahoma.

(Oliver Morrison/The Wichita Eagle)

Contributing: Vicki S. Reynolds of The Eagle

Oliver Morrison: 316-268-6499, @ORMorrison

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