Multiple earthquakes rattle central Oklahoma - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Multiple earthquakes rattle central Oklahoma

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LANGSTON, Okla. - The U.S. Geological Survey says at least four earthquakes have rattled central Oklahoma, including a 4.3-magnitude temblor near Langston. 

The earthquake struck shortly after noon Saturday about five miles southwest of Langston. Earlier, a 3.2-magnitude quake was recorded about 6:30 a.m., in about the same area as Langston. No damage or injuries were reported following either quake.

The USGS says two other quakes were recorded Saturday near Guthrie. The first, a 2.9-magnitude quake, struck shortly before noon about five miles east of Guthrie. A second 3.0 magnitude quake was recorded in the same area at about 12:30 p.m. 

Speculators say these temblors could be the result of fracking -- a process of extracting oil and gas from the ground by blasting water, sand, and other chemicals deep into rock formations. Scientists wonder if the large amounts of wastewater produced in the process are enough to increase the pressure and lubricate faults in the area. 

Energy in Depth, an oil and gas advocacy group, released a statement to CBS News that read, "The best science available to us right now suggests strongly that fracking has nothing to do with these small seismic events."

Geologists say quakes of magnitude 2.5 to 3.0 are generally the smallest that are felt by humans and that damage is not likely in quakes of magnitude 4.0 or lower.

Source: Associated Press, CBS News