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Oklahoma residents are recovering Sunday after a series of earthquakes and aftershocks shook the state and were felt as far away as Wisconsin — an unusual experience for many more used to scanning the skies for natural disasters.
A magnitude 4.7 earthquake shook areas from Texas to Missouri early Saturday, and was followed by a magnitude 5.6 quake just before 11 p.m. The latter was the state’s strongest on record, according to reporting by the Associated Press. Since Saturday night, the area has been struck by no less than 10 smaller quakes, or aftershocks.
Residents told of falling furniture, cracked walls and roaring sounds, and one person has been reported injured. A 25-foot tower separated from an administration building and collapsed at St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Okla.
“It woke me out of a dead sleep,” Oklahoma City resident Noeh Morales told The Oklahoman. “I felt the whole house shaking. I jumped and ran outside to see what was going on.”
Thousands leaving Oklahoma State's Boone Pickens Stadium after Oklahoma's Cowboys defeated Kansas State were unsettled by the largest quake, which lasted nearly a full minute.
Though the state does not sit on a major plate border, local seismologist Austin Holland told The Oklahoman that the quake came from movement along complex and prominent Seminole Uplift fault structure.
U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Paul Earle told the AP aftershocks could continue for days and even months; a sharp increase in the number of earthquakes the state typically experiences convinced researchers to install seismographs in the area last year. Thus far there is no clear explanation for the jump in seismic activity.
Watch a local report: