January 10, 2016: "a millenium's worth of earthquakes" in Oklahoma reads The [London] Guardian headline.
Oklahomans don’t blink when they hear warnings about tornadoes, drought or ice-storms. Earthquakes, however, catch their attention.
Increasingly tied to tremors shaking the west, fracking for natural gas is creating alarm and division around western states that until recently enjoyed a boom in jobs and revenue.
In Oklahoma, seismologists have warned that significant temblors last week could signal a larger, more dangerous earthquake to come in a state where drilling is destabilizing the bedrock.
Last Wednesday night two earthquakes, measuring 4.7 and 4.8 on the Richter scale, struck rural northern Oklahoma, beneath a major oil and gas producing area. The state historically experiences two shakes a year registering above level three.That's probably a bit of hyperbole that "Oklahomans don’t blink when they hear warnings about tornadoes, drought or ice-storms" but the Oklahoma oil and gas industry has cause to worry. There is a bit of irony in that fracking itself is not associated with earthquakes, but rather the disposal of all that waste water in deep salt-water disposal wells.
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