2 more quakes reported in Harper County

By: KAKE News - Email
By: KAKE News - Email

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WICHITA, Kan. - At least four earthquakes have been reported in southern Kansas and two more in northern Oklahoma Wednesday morning.

The U.S. Geological Survey reports the first quake was a 3.4 that happened at 4:50 a.m. It was centered about eight miles east-northeast of Anthony, near the community of Freeport in Harper County.

Another quake, a 2.7, was reported about 10 miles south-southeast of Medford, Oklahoma at 7:30 a.m.

A third quake, another 2.7, hit about 10 miles east-southeast of Harper just before 8 a.m.

Then a fourth quake, also a 2.7, occurred about 1:pm near Freeport. KAKE's Chris Frank was interviewing on camera the Freeport Postmaster when the quake occurred and you could hear the rattling of the post office.

There's no word of any damage from the quakes, but It's the latest in a series of earthquakes along the Kansas-Oklahoma line in recent months. A mid-December quake northwest of Caldwell measured 3.8.

Oklahoma had three more minor earthquakes Tuesday. The strongest measured 3.7, not far from Langston.

The interim director of The Kansas Geological Survey, Rex Buchanan, is on the panel the Governor appointed to study the increased seismic activity.

One of the questions being raised is whether human activity, such as, the increased oil and gas exploration could be connected with the earthquakes.

Buchanan says, "As far as these close to the Kansas border, I can't sit here today and tell you exactly what's going on here. We'll look and see here what there is in terms of possible disposal well activity in that area and whether these are a result of disposal wells or natural activity. It's too soon to know."

The disposal well activity Buchanan refers to has to do with salt water waste resulting from oil wells being re-deposited in the ground.

Buchanan says, "It's related to salt water disposal, related to oil and gas production. It's typical to bring up an awful lot of salt water in association to oil, typically a lot more salt water. And it's the disposal of that salt water that people have been looking at as a possible relationship to the seismic activity."

The Governor's panel will meet to discuss the seismic activity in Wichita April 16th at the WSU Hughes Metroplex.


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