Oklahoma Governor Seeks Disaster Aid Because of Quakes

December 1, 2011

The state of Oklahoma felt at least five small earthquakes over last week’s Thanksgiving holiday. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there was a 2.4 magnitude quake at 6:55 AM on Saturday, November 26th, with an epicent4er about five miles south of Sparks. This was the fifth temblor in the area since Thursday the 24th, when a 3.7 magnitude shaker was recorded near Prague. There were three more tremors between those.

Earlier in November, a 5.6 magnitude quake – the strongest Oklahoma has ever recorded – struck the state, causing damage to at least 40 houses and a highway, and collapsing a tower at Shawnee, OK’s St. Gregory’s University.

In the wake of these earthquakes, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has requested a federal disaster be declared. Her request was made on November 22nd, and is meant to get help for people and businesses in Lincoln and Pottawatomie counties, where the tremors have been centered. Nearly 200 homes and businesses have been damaged in those counties, according to early estimates.

If the governor’s request is approved, FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management agency) will provide grants and low-interest loans to home- and business owners and renters.

Insurance companies
around the state are also rallying, redefining their coverage in Oklahoma.