Earthquake shakes south central Kansas

WICHITA, Kansas (KSN) – A magnitude 4.7 earthquake rattled northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas early Thursday. Two smaller quakes struck the same area hours later.

According to the National Earthquake Information Center, the quake happened at 1:42 a.m. and was centered about 8 miles southwest of Cherokee.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries from the quake, which was felt more than 300 miles away in the Kansas City area.

Two other earthquakes were reported later Thursday: a 3.1-magnitude temblor at 3:46 a.m. and a 3.7-magnitude quake at 6:03 a.m. Both were centered 9 miles south-southwest of Cherokee, which is near the state’s border with Kansas.

Kansas 911 flooded with earthquake calls

National Earthquake Information Center geophysicist Randy Baldwin says Oklahoma has seen more than 20 magnitude 4 quakes this year.

Officials say the quake registered well on the seismograph located at Jackson Heights High School and Middle School in Holton, Kansas. The seismograph is used by students in 7-12 in science classes.

This photo shows the seismograph reading from Jackson Heights High School and Middle School in Holton, Kansas. (Courtesy: KSNT)


Here is what viewers had to say about the quake from reportit.

First earthquake I ever felt in Hutchinson Kansas. Woke my family up at 1:40 a.m. I thought someone was shaking me. When I woke, the house was shaking and the glass lamp was making noise from the vibration. My son woke up in the other room and asked if I felt that. I knew the it was not a dream.”

-Bob, from Hutchinson

About 1:43 a.m. in Wichita, I felt quite a good earthquake. Shook the whole house and it was noisy. I could hear it outside the house. It lasted for several seconds, not like those we have experienced lately.

-Mary, from Wichita

An earthquake shook the walls and floors of my downtown apartment. It felt like a 5 second roller coaster ride. It was at 1:44 am.

-Jeff, from Wichita

Just felt a big quake at the Kansas Oklahoma line near South Haven at 1:43am. It shook for quite awhile and triggered my grandfather clock as well as knocked a few items off of shelves.

-David, near South Haven



Drop, cover and Hold On. Minimize your movements to a few steps to a nearby safe place and if you are indoors, stay there until the shaking has stopped and you are sure exiting is safe.

If Indoors

  • DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
  • Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
  • Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
  • Do not use a doorway except if you know it is a strongly supported, load-bearing doorway and it is close to you. Many inside doorways are lightly constructed and do not offer protection..
  • Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Do not exit a building during the shaking. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.
  • DO NOT use the elevators.
  • Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.

If Outdoors

  • Stay there.
  • Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
  • Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits and alongside exterior walls. Many of the 120 fatalities from the 1933 Long Beach earthquake occurred when people ran outside of buildings only to be killed by falling debris from collapsing walls. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.

If in a Moving Vehicle

  • Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
  • Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.

If Trapped Under Debris

  • Do not light a match.
  • Do not move about or kick up dust.
  • Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
  • Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.

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