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.
— Jake Goertz (@JacobGoertz) August 16, 2019
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.
#BREAKING We’re getting some calls from people in Hutchinson, who say they believe they experienced an earthquake this morning. One person reported things fell off his walls and shook his whole house. We’re looking into this. USGS has not put down a report. @KWCH12
— Natalie Davis (@KWCHNatalie) August 16, 2019
In the KAKE-TV article’s comments section, people reported feeling at least three aftershocks following the initial tremor.
Quakes East of Rockies Felt More Intensely Than In West
While most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains has infrequent earthquakes, there are hotspots of intense quake activity.
The USGS points out that while earthquakes east of the Rockies are less common than in the West, they are typically felt over a much broader region.
“East of the Rockies, an earthquake can be felt over an area more than ten times larger than a similar magnitude earthquake on the west coast,” the USGS says.
“It would not be unusual for a magnitude 4.0 earthquake in eastern or central North America to be felt by a significant percentage of the population in many communities more than 100 kilometers (60 miles) from its source. A magnitude 5.5 earthquake in eastern or central North America might be felt by much of the population out to more than 500 kilometers (300 miles) from its source.”