M4.5 Earthquake Hits Southern Kansas

January 20, 2020 Updated: January 20, 2020
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Southern Kansas experienced a minor 4.5 magnitude earthquake that had its epicenter some two miles southwest of the city of Hutchinson in Reno County at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Eventually, the U.S. Seismologic Survey (USGS) reported a magnitude (M) of 4,4 on the Richter scale, but this was later upgraded to M4,5. No casualties or damage has been reported so far.

The southern Kansas region has seen several earthquakes in the past years. Some attribute these to wastewater injection wells caused by oil and gas production activities.

However, since certain measurements were taken and the oil prices have dropped since 2014, the number of quakes has bottomed out somewhat.

Epoch Times Photo
File photo of seismologist pointing at a screen graphic of an earthquake (Dimas Ardian/Getty Images)

Last year, however, the USGS reported a somewhat weaker M4.2 earthquake in the same area on Friday, August 16, that caused some more damage.

According to local news outlets, damage was reported in some areas near the epicenter.

The USGS said that the quake was 3 miles south-southwest of South Hutchinson, Kansas.

Hutchinson resident Alice Hinnen told KWCH that items fell from her shelves.

She said it was the strongest quake she has ever felt while living in Kansas. Hinnen added that she also felt an aftershock.

Jake Goertz, of South Hutchinson, tweeted: “Earthquake lasted a good 20 seconds here. I have felt four aftershocks.”

Our office building in Hutchinson experienced a loud boom like an explosion followed by about 2 seconds of fairly strong shaking.

— Bob Colladay (@bcolladay) August 16, 2019

“Our office building in Hutchinson experienced a loud boom like an explosion followed by about 2 seconds of fairly strong shaking,” wrote local Bob Colladay.

According to KWCH, a number of people across Kansas and Oklahoma reported feeling the tremor.

“Yes, we felt the earthquake in Hutchinson USD 308. All our students and staff are safe. At this point, our staff have seen minor damage but are surveying our buildings. Again, students and staff are safe,” wrote Hutchinson Public Schools on Facebook.

Cory Wilson told KAKE-TV: “My wife is reporting damage on Hutch main street. She ran outside, afraid the building would collapse … this was HUGE.”

“Window fell out on main Street in hutch,” Leslie McGarraugh said.

In the KAKE-TV article’s comments section, people reported feeling at least three aftershocks following the initial tremor.

Epoch Times reporters Tom Ozimek and Jack Phillips contributed to this report