Profits before people strikes again.
Mile for mile, there are almost as many earthquakes rattling Oklahoma as California this year. This major increase in seismic shaking led to a rare earthquake warning today (May 5) from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Oklahoma Geological Survey. In a joint statement, the agencies said the risk of a damaging earthquake.-- one larger than magnitude 5.0 — has significantly increased in central Oklahoma. Geologists don't know when or where the state's next big earthquake will strike, nor will they put a number on the increased risk. This is the first time the USGS has issued an earthquake warning for a state east of the Rockies, Williams said. Such seismic hazard assessments are more typically issued for Western states following large quakes, to warn residents of the risk of damaging aftershocks, he said. While scientists haven't ruled out natural causes for the increase, many researchers suspect the deep injection wells used for the disposal of fracking wastewater could be causing the quake activity. Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, is a method of extracting oil and gas by cracking open underground rock. Ongoing studies have found a link between Oaklahome's high-volume wastewater injection wells and regions with an uptick in earthquakes.