Experts provide insight into the latest earthquakes across the Wichita area


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – An earthquake measuring a 3.8 magnitude was felt across Wichita early Wednesday.

The earthquake was centered near 13th and Rock Road just after 5 a.m.

Wichita has experienced several recent earthquakes. Several occurred on Dec. 19. This was one of the strongest.

“It was actually one of the strongest and longest earthquakes that I have experienced since coming back home to Wichita, and I was born here, I was raised here,” KSN Meteorologist Lisa Teachman told WDAF-TV. “This one was literally where the windows and the doors are just rattling, and it’s almost like you can feel it coming from one direction, and then it just gets stronger and stronger and stronger.”

Last week, the Kansas Corporation Commission said the Wichita earthquakes were not connected to oil and gas activity.

“This clearly is a fault that has been producing, has enough stress on it that it is beginning to release,” said Rick Miller, senior scientist at the Kansas Geological Survey. “Once a fault has the appropriate stresses on it and once it slips, you could easily have different segments of the fault slipping at different times.”

University of Southern California seismology professor John Vidale said the explanation behind the recent earthquakes could stem from a number of things.

“People are arguing whether it’s related to the oil industry or they’re natural,” said Vidale. “I think it’s too soon to tell. Most seismicity that shows up in the middle of the country is related to the oil industry, there’s a chance it’s natural.”

If you feel an earthquake, report it to the USGS by clicking here.

Sedgwick County said do not call 911 to report an earthquake unless emergency assistance is needed. The county said they received 21 calls in quick succession related to the earthquake, which could have overloaded the system. In addition, 911 received 21 alarm calls from companies.

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