Yesterday I wrote a blog essay covering the news that a “first of its kind earthquake” had hit Oman. I also reported about the large-ish quake that had struck the UK, where quakes occur, but not all that frequently.
Today KOCO of Oklahoma City published a news article about the earthquake swarm that has been going on in Oklahoma. The KOCO article had the following headline:
OGS: 150+ quakes in one week in Oklahoma
“There have been more than 150 earthquakes in the past week in Oklahoma, according to the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS). That’s not normal. Before 2009, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported Oklahoma would typically get three or fewer 3.0+ magnitude quakes a year. In the last few years, the average jumped up to about 40 significant quakes a year. Less than 2 months into 2014, Oklahoma has had more than 25 quakes registering 3.0+ magnitude in Oklahoma. Michael Lewchuk, an earthquake expert with Casady School, told KOCO, “For Oklahoma that is an unusually large amount. We typically have somewhere between 50-100 in one full year.”
The quake swarm is so perplexing and problematic (for geologists AND for homeowners/residents) that the Oklahoma Geological Survey has released a position paper specifically addressing it.
There has been a significant increase in seismic activity (earthquakes) in Oklahoma since 2009. And although the majority of these earthquakes are not strong enough to be felt, the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS) recognizes that the increase in “felt” seismic activity is of interest to the citizens of the state. …
–Since 2009, the earthquake activity in Oklahoma has been approximately 40 times higher than in the previous 30 years.
–Based on reported “felt” earthquakes prior to the establishment of the OGS network, this recent level of seismicity is significantly greater than the past 100 years.
–The energy released by earthquakes is thousands of times greater than the energy that may have been added by water disposal, which demonstrates that the earthquakes themselves are, ultimately, the result of the release of natural stresses. [Ed Note: as opposed to fracking]
—The “Jones Earthquake Swarm” appears, in part, to have shown some activity that statistically deviates from the regional stresses and other general observations of seismicity in Oklahoma.
So the upshot is, since 2009 Oklahoma has had a monster increase in earthquakes. The Geologic Society recognizes that residents are spooked. They are looking into it. They haven’t come to a reasonable conclusion as to why OK is jumping and cracking.
“According to the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS), there were more than 2,800 earthquakes in Oklahoma in 2013. That’s twice the previous high, established in 2011.” (source)
If these unusual quakes aren’t part of the birth pangs, then I don’t know what! (Matthew 24:8).