Wichita Area Sees Uptick In Earthquake Frequency

Mar 16, 2021

At least eight earthquakes have shaken Wichita since early Sunday morning.

Since the fall, more than 30 earthquakes struck in an area centered near north-east Wichita. The strongest so far was a 3.9 magnitude that hit Sunday evening.

Rick Miller is senior scientist at the Kansas Geological Survey. He says the frequency of earthquakes is concerning, but says the region shouldn’t experience any quakes stronger than what it’s already seen.

“The maximum possible earthquake on this particular feature right now is somewhere under 4.5,” Miller said.

Quakes under a magnitude five don’t generally cause structural damage in well-maintained buildings.

State regulators continue to investigate if the recent string of earthquakes in the area is related to oil and gas operations.

Brian Grimmett reports on the environment, energy and natural resources for KMUW in Wichita and the Kansas News Service. You can follow him on Twitter @briangrimmett or email him at grimmett (at) kmuw (dot) org. The Kansas News Service is a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, KMUW and High Plains Public Radio focused on health, the social determinants of health and their connection to public policy.

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