Wichita mayor: 'No major damage' to infrastructure after 5.6 quake

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Wichita city leaders say there is no major damage to the city's infrastructure following Saturday morning's 5.6 earthquake in northern Oklahoma, but some facilities and buildings will need repairs.

The 5.6 magnitude earthquake occurred at 7:02 a.m. northwest of Pawnee, Oklahoma, which is about 125 miles from Wichita. The city's earthquake response plan was activated about a half hour after the quake. It includes public works staff inspecting infrastructure. 

"The inspections included surveying roads and bridges, city facilities, and at this point we can say there's no major damage that's been identified to date...that has impacted city operations," Mayor Jeff Longwell said. 

Longwell said the city has had earthquake insurance for several years. The deductible is about $250,000 and is based off of each occurrence. 

"One of the first things we noticed, we had a sudden drop in pressure in our water system," said Public Works Director Alan King. "We increased our pumping and that problem seemed to go away."

King said there was very little significant damage from the earthquake. He reported the following:

  • Damage to a structural support at City Hall's parking garage
  • Flaking concrete on exterior wall of the Rounds and Porter building west of City Hall
  • Cracks in walls at sewer treatment plant number 2
  • Numerous building cracks at WPD Patrol North & Patrol East
  • Cracked window and fallen ceiling tiles at the Wichita Art Museum
  • Building cracks McAdams Community Center
  • Minor building cracks at Expo Hall next to Century II
  • Cracked window at Central Public Library
  • Sheetrock damage at Alford Library

"None of these appear to be structural," King said. "They will be repaired, and we continue to look at our facilities. I'll take us about a week to get through everything."

A dollar estimate of the damage has yet to be determined. 

On January 6, a 4.8 earthquake in Woods County, Oklahoma caused more than $100,000 worth damage to Wichita infrastructure. A majority of that was from broken water mains, most notably an eight inch pipe that caused a sinkhole at Douglas and Waterman which wasn't discovered until five days after the earthquakes.

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Wichita city leaders holding a news conference this afternoon to discuss whether this weekend's large earthquake caused an damage to city structures.

The 5.6 magnitude earthquake occurred at 7:02 a.m. Saturday northwest of Pawnee, Oklahoma, which is about 125 miles from Wichita.  

The town of Pawnee received damage, from items thrown off shelves to stone facades broken off of at least one building. There was one reported injury.

Reports of feeling the quake stretched as far at St. Louis and Dallas. It was was larger than a pair in January that city leaders say caused about 100-thousand dollars in damage.

Mayor Jeff Longwell told KAKE News over the weekend that preliminary checks didn't find any damage.

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Businesses worry earthquakes are getting stronger

Oklahoma aftershocks follow 5.6 earthquake 

The quake ties a 2011 earthquake for the strongest earthquake in recorded Oklahoma history. Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency in Pawnee County, and the Oklahoma Corporation Commission is requiring the shutdown of 37 wastewater disposal wells in the area around the epicenter.