Moderate quake hits temblor-prone Oklahoma

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5.6 Magnitude Earthquake in Oklahoma Shakes Multiple States

TULSA, Okla., Sept 3 (Reuters) - One of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded in Oklahoma rattled a state where seismic activity has become a growing concern, sending tremors through six neighboring states, the United States Geological Survey said on Saturday.

The quake, which struck 14 km (9 miles) northwest of Pawnee in north-central Oklahoma at 7:02 a.m. CDT (1302 GMT), had a magnitude of 5.6, matching in strength a temblor that hit the state in 2011, the USGS reported on its website. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

SEE ALSO: Dog called Romeo rescued from rubble 10 days after Italy quake

The earthquake, which had a depth of 6.6 km (4.1 miles), could offer fresh ammunition to environmentalists concerned about the side-effects of oil and gas production, which has been blamed for a spike in minor to moderate quakes in the region.

See how social media reacted to the quake:

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Social media reactions to Okla. earthquake
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Social media reactions to Okla. earthquake
Hearing of a significant earthquake back in Norman. Hope everyone back home is safe.
Sounds like an Oklahoma earthquake was felt all the way in Chicago, which is kinda terrifying to think about
Big earthquake in Oklahoma City felt all the way in St Louis. Are you OK Oklahoma City??? What's going on? https://t.co/mRGq9PfX9T
It appears there has been an earthquake felt in Arkansas and Oklahoma. I'll have the latest shortly. Did you feel it? #ARWX #AREQ
It appears the epicenter of the #earthquake was up in Oklahoma, but felt in Kansas, Arkansas, and N Texas. More info to come.
M5.8 #earthquake strikes 123 km NE of Oklahoma City (#Oklahoma) 8 min ago. Effects reported by witnesses: https://t.co/sh7Q2XSF28
you guys in Oklahoma talking about an earthquake... i felt it in manhattan kansas
Well, now that all of Oklahoma is awake from that earthquake ... #yikes
"get up Oklahoma, it's game day" -God sending that massive earthquake
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"We just had an earthquake that shook our whole house!," wrote Gretchen Scott of Enid, Oklahoma, 60 miles west of Pawnee.

"Could actually hear it rumbling like thunder. Very freaky, and definitely not something I'd like to repeat soon!," she said on her Facebook page.

Pawnee Mayor Brad Sewell said the tremor lasted nearly a minute, far longer than previous ones that lasted only a second or two. Part of the façade of an early 20th-century bank building had fallen into a downtown street, he said.

"We have had a spate of quakes over the last several years, but nothing like this," he said. "It was a long, sustained quake."

The likelihood of casualties and damage from the earthquake, was low, the USGS said. Most residences in north-central Oklahoma were resistant to earthquakes, it said on its website.

Oklahoma geologists have documented links between increased seismic activity in the state and the injection into the ground of wastewater from oil and gas production, according to a report from a state agency last year.

Oklahoma is recording 2-1/2 earthquakes daily of a magnitude 3 or greater, a seismicity rate 600 times greater than before 2008, the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS) said.

The spike has put Oklahoma at the center of a national debate over whether wastewater disposal from oil and gas production triggers earthquakes. The state's economy depends heavily on energy production, accounting for one of every four jobs there.

The water at issue is extracted from the ground along with oil and gas, separated and re-injected into deep wells.

The drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," generates large amounts of wastewater. But the OGS report said fracking is responsible for only a small percentage of the total volume of wastewater injected into disposal wells.

Zachary Reeves, a seismologist with the USGS National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado, said the agency had received reports of the Oklahoma quake from South Dakota, Wisconsin, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Texas.

"It's a relatively large quake for the area. The central U.S. doesn't tend to get a lot of five-plus earthquakes."

He said it was the third magnitude 5 quake in the state since 2011, and there were a couple of dozen or so 4s or bigger in Oklahoma last year.

Related: Also see the devastation from the recent earthquake in Italy:

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Earthquake devastates mountain towns in central Italy
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Earthquake devastates mountain towns in central Italy
PERUGIA, ITALY - AUGUST 24: Rubble surrounds damaged buildings after a strong earthquake hit San Pellegrino near Norcia on August 24, 201 in Perugia, Italy. Central Italy was struck by a powerful, 6.2-magnitude earthquake in the early hours, which has killed at least three people and devastated dozens of mountain villages. Numerous buildings had collapsed in communities close to the epicenter of the quake near the town of Norcia in the region of Umbria, witnesses told Italian media, with an increase in the death toll highly likely (Photo by Awakening/Getty Images)
PERUGIA, ITALY - AUGUST 24: Rubble surrounds damaged buildings after a strong earthquake hit San Pellegrino near Norcia on August 24, 201 in Perugia, Italy. Central Italy was struck by a powerful, 6.2-magnitude earthquake in the early hours, which has killed at least three people and devastated dozens of mountain villages. Numerous buildings had collapsed in communities close to the epicenter of the quake near the town of Norcia in the region of Umbria, witnesses told Italian media, with an increase in the death toll highly likely (Photo by Awakening/Getty Images)
Rescuers search amid rubble following an earthquake in Amatrice, central Italy, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. The magnitude 6 quake struck at 3:36 a.m. (0136 GMT) and was felt across a broad swath of central Italy, including Rome where residents of the capital felt a long swaying followed by aftershocks. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
A firefighter searches through debris of a collapsed building following an earthquake in Amatrice, central Italy, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. A strong earthquake in central Italy reduced three towns to rubble as people slept early Wednesday, with reports that as many as 50 people were killed and hundreds injured as rescue crews raced to dig out survivors. (Italian Firefighters via AP)
A man walks amid rubbles after an earthquake struck in Amatrice Italy, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. The magnitude 6 quake struck at 3:36 a.m. (0136 GMT) and was felt across a broad swath of central Italy, including Rome where residents of the capital felt a long swaying followed by aftershocks.(AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
PERUGIA, ITALY - AUGUST 24: People view a damaged building after a strong earthquake hit San Pellegrino near Norcia on August 24, 201 in Perugia, Italy. Central Italy was struck by a powerful, 6.2-magnitude earthquake in the early hours, which has killed at least three people and devastated dozens of mountain villages. Numerous buildings had collapsed in communities close to the epicenter of the quake near the town of Norcia in the region of Umbria, witnesses told Italian media, with an increase in the death toll highly likely (Photo by Awakening/Getty Images)
A man is rescued alive from the ruins following an earthquake in Amatrice, central Italy, August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Remo Casilli TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Rescuers work following an earthquake in Accumoli di Rieti, central Italy, August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Steve Scherer
A man is carried away after been rescued alive from the ruins following an earthquake in Amatrice, central Italy, August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
A man is carried away after having been rescued alive from the ruins following an earthquake in Amatrice, central Italy, August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
A man is rescued alive from the ruins following an earthquake in Amatrice, central Italy, August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
A man is carried away after having been rescued alive from the ruins following an earthquake in Amatrice, central Italy, August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
Rescuers and people walk along a road following an earthquake in Accumoli di Rieti, central Italy, August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Steve Scherer
A damaged house is seen following an earthquake in Accumoli di Rieti, central Italy, August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Steve Scherer
A bust is seen on the ground following an earthquake in Accumoli di Rieti, central Italy, August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Steve Scherer
Rescuers work on a collapsed building following an earthquake in Amatrice, central Italy, August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF DEATH A body is carried away by rescuers following an earthquake in Amatrice, central Italy, August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca
A rescuer stands in front of a collapsed building following an earthquake in Amatrice, central Italy, August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A partially collapsed church is seen following an earthquake in Accumoli di Rieti, central Italy, August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Steve Scherer
A collapsed house is seen following an earthquake in Amatrice, central Italy, August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini
Rescuers work in Amatrice, central Italy, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016, where a magnitude 6 quake struck at 3:36 a.m. (0136 GMT) and was felt across a broad swath of central Italy, including Rome where residents of the capital felt a long swaying followed by aftershocks. Turistic sign at right reads in Italian : "Amatrice, one of the most beautiful hamlets in Italy" . (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Rescuers search amid rubble following an earthquake in Amatrice Italy, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. The magnitude 6 quake struck at 3:36 a.m. (0136 GMT) and was felt across a broad swath of central Italy, including Rome where residents of the capital felt a long swaying followed by aftershocks. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Rescuers search amid rubble of collapsed houses following an earthquake in Pescara Del Tronto, Italy, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. The magnitude 6 quake struck at 3:36 a.m. (0136 GMT) and was felt across a broad swath of central Italy, including Rome where residents of the capital felt a long swaying followed by aftershocks. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
An injured man is rescued from a collapsed building following an earthquake in Amatrice, central Italy, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. The magnitude 6 quake struck at 3:36 a.m. (0136 GMT) and was felt across a broad swath of central Italy, including Rome where residents of the capital felt a long swaying followed by aftershocks. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
PERUGIA, ITALY - AUGUST 24: A damaged building is seen after a strong earthquake hit Amatrice on August 24, 201 in Perugia, Italy. Central Italy was struck by a powerful, 6.2-magnitude earthquake in the early hours, which has killed at least three people and devastated dozens of mountain villages. Numerous buildings had collapsed in communities close to the epicenter of the quake near the town of Norcia in the region of Umbria, witnesses told Italian media, with an increase in the death toll highly likely (Photo by Awakening/Getty Images)
AMATRICE, Aug. 24, 2016-- Photo taken on Aug. 24, 2016 shows damaged houses after the earthquake in Amatrice, central Italy. The death toll in a strong earthquake in central Italy has risen to 38, authorities said Wednesday. The 6.0 magnitude earthquake hit the city of Rieti at 3:32 a.m. Wednesday, with a shallow depth of 4.2 km, according to the National Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. (Xinhua/Jin Yu via Getty Images)
Rescue and emergency services personnel searches for victims with a dog in the central Italian village of Amatrice, on August 24, 2016 after a powerful earthquake rocked central Italy. A powerful earthquake rattled a remote area of central Italy on August 24, 2016, leaving at least 120 people dead and scenes of carnage in mountain villages. With 368 people injured and an unknown number trapped under rubble, the figure of dead and wounded was expected to rise in the wake of the pre-dawn quake, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi warned. / AFP / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
Volunteers join rescue and emergency services personnel searching for victims in the central Italian village of Amatrice, on August 24, 2016 after a powerful earthquake rocked central Italy. A powerful earthquake rattled a remote area of central Italy on August 24, 2016, leaving at least 120 people dead and scenes of carnage in mountain villages. With 368 people injured and an unknown number trapped under rubble, the figure of dead and wounded was expected to rise in the wake of the pre-dawn quake, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi warned. / AFP / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
PERUGIA, ITALY - AUGUST 24: A damaged building is seen after a strong earthquake hit Amatrice on August 24, 201 in Perugia, Italy. Central Italy was struck by a powerful, 6.2-magnitude earthquake in the early hours, which has killed at least three people and devastated dozens of mountain villages. Numerous buildings had collapsed in communities close to the epicenter of the quake near the town of Norcia in the region of Umbria, witnesses told Italian media, with an increase in the death toll highly likely (Photo by Awakening/Getty Images)
Two people hug each other next to the remains of a collapsed house following an earthquake in Pescara Del Tronto, Italy, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. The magnitude 6 quake struck at 3:36 a.m. (0136 GMT) and was felt across a broad swath of central Italy, including Rome where residents of the capital felt a long swaying followed by aftershocks. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
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