On February 3, 2024, Oklahoma City and its surrounding areas were jolted by a significant seismic event, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake, with its epicenter located just northwest of Prague in Lincoln County, Oklahoma, approximately 50 miles east of Oklahoma City. This earthquake has been tied for the fourth largest in the state’s history. Despite the substantial magnitude, initial reports indicate that there have been no injuries or significant damage. The impact of the quake was widespread, with residents across Oklahoma, from Lawton to Enid to Tulsa, reporting sensations of shaking.

Following the initial quake, which struck at 11:24 p.m., there were at least eight smaller aftershocks recorded through the subsequent morning, ranging in magnitude from 2.5 to 3.4. The depth of the earthquake was relatively shallow, at just 3 kilometers (about 1.8 miles) below the surface, which often results in more intensely felt tremors.

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Oklahoma has experienced thousands of earthquakes in recent years, many of which have been linked to the underground injection of wastewater from oil and natural gas extraction activities. This particular event’s epicenter was nearly identical to that of a 5.7 magnitude quake that struck Prague in 2011, highlighting ongoing seismic challenges in the region.

In response to the earthquake, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which oversees the state’s oil and gas industry, has taken measures such as directing producers to close some injection wells and reduce volumes in others to mitigate the risk of further seismic activity. These steps reflect ongoing efforts to balance the state’s economic activities with the imperative of ensuring public safety in the face of natural phenomena.