Risk of Damaging Earthquake Increasing in Oklahoma

The United States Geological Survey reports that the rate of earthquakes in Oklahoma has increased by 50 percent since October 2013, which leads to an increased likelihood of a damaging earthquake.

The USGS believes the damaging earthquake would strike in central Oklahoma, where the majority of the earthquakes have been reported.

183 earthquakes with a magnitude of 3.0 or greater have been reported in Okla. from October 2013 to April 2014, which contrasts the long-term average from 1978 to 2008 of two magnitude 3.0 or larger earthquakes per year.

"We hope that this new advisory of increased hazard will become a crucial consideration in earthquake preparedness for residents, schools and businesses in the central Oklahoma," Bill Leith with USGS said.

"Building owners and government officials should have a special concern for older, unreinforced brick structures, which are vulnerable to serious damage during sufficient shaking," he said.

The release hinted that a likely contributing factor to the recent earthquakes is wastewater disposal by injection into deep geologic formations.

One of the largest earthquakes in Okla. history has been felt in recent years, the 5.6 magnitude quake that struck near Prague Nov. 5, 2011.

The USGS has increased their presence in the state due to the increases in earthquakes.