(OKLAHOMA CITY) — Monday morning’s forecast on ABC News affiliate KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City came with a jolt — and not from that first cup of coffee.
Meteorologist Danielle Dozier was delivering the week’s weather live on air Monday when a magnitude 4.2 earthquake hit.
“Oh my gosh,” Dozier said. “That was way bigger than what we felt earlier. That was well over 4.0 magnitude, I can tell you that much right now….It actually scared me. That’s how powerful that was.”
In a state known for its tornadoes, meteorologists have suddenly gotten pretty good at measuring earthquakes because they’ve had a lot of practice.
Since the beginning of the year, Oklahoma has experienced 200 earthquakes of a magnitude 3 or higher. That’s a more than 50-percent increase — and more quakes than what California has had this year.
Last month, the U.S. Geological Survey warned that central Oklahoma was at a heightened risk for a damaging earthquake. It was the first time the agency had ever issued that warning for a state east of the Rockies.
In 2011, Oklahoma, which is on the New Madrid Fault, experienced a 5.6 earthquake that caused some damage.
Geologists suspect that the increase is caused by waste water from natural gas drilling, known as fracking, being pumped deep underground and adding pressure to normally stable fault lines.
The industry has denied that.
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