Late Friday night, an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.1 rattled the Oklahoma City area, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The epicenter of the seismic event was pinpointed about 50 miles east of Oklahoma City, specifically in Lincoln County, Oklahoma, northwest of Prague.
As of now, there have been no reports of damage or injuries in the affected region, but authorities are actively investigating the incident. The USGS said that, while less common than in the West, earthquakes east of the Rocky Mountains often have a broader geographic impact. According to the USGS website, the seismic impact can actually affect an area that is more than ten times larger than one that results from an earthquake of the same magnitude on the west coast.
The earthquake occurred at 11:30 p.m. CT, striking near Prague, Oklahoma. Numerous residents in at least five states along the Southern Plains reported feeling the tremors. People who felt the earthquake posted a ton of updates on social media, describing sounds they heard like walls breaking.
While early reports indicated minimal immediate damage, the USGS cautioned that aftershocks could persist. Seismometers recorded six additional earthquakes larger than 2.5 magnitudes in the hours following the initial quake, with the strongest reaching a magnitude of 3.4 on Friday morning.
This seismic activity follows a series of tremors less than a month ago in the Oklahoma City metro area, the most notable being a magnitude 4.4 earthquake. Preliminary calculations suggest that Friday’s earthquake ranks among the top four most significant occurrences in the Sooner State since 1900.
The region has a history of earthquakes linked to human activity, particularly associated with fracking—the process of injecting chemicals, sand, or water into the ground to fracture bedrock and access oil and gas reserves. Past reports from the USGS have highlighted the correlation between such activities and seismic events. However, it is currently too early to determine whether human activity played a role in the recent earthquake.
Authorities continue to monitor the situation and assess any potential long-term effects as the community remains on alert for further seismic activity in the aftermath of this significant event.