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5.6 magnitude quake rocks central Oklahoma on day of quakes; officials report no injuries
SPARKS, Oklahoma (AP) ' A 5.6 magnitude quake rocked Oklahoma late Saturday after a day of smaller quakes, leaving cracked buildings and a buckled highway but no major damage.
The temblor was so strong it rattled a college football stadium 50 miles (80 kilometers) away and could be felt in Tennessee.
The quake, centered about 44 miles (71 kilometers) northeast of Oklahoma City, may be the strongest in state history if the reading is confirmed by the U.S. Geological Survey after it initially reported a 5.2 magnitude event.
Emergency authorities had no immediate reports of injuries or major damages. But the quake shook a packed college football stadium as fans departed just minutes after third-ranked Oklahoma State had beaten No. 17 Kansas State.
An emergency manager in Lincoln County near the epicenter said U.S. 62, a highway in the region, had crumbled in places when the strongest quake of the day struck at 10:53 p.m. Saturday (0353 GMT Sunday). Other reports in the late-night hours were sketchy and mentioned cracks in some buildings and a chimney toppled.
The USGS said the Saturday night quake struck near the community of Sparks ' in eastern Oklahoma between Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
The temblor shook the stadium at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater where a crowd of 58,895 had gathered to watch the major college match. Oklahoma State's players were gathered in the locker room under the Boone Pickens Stadium stands just minutes after a 52-45 victory when the ground began to shake beneath their feet.
"Everybody was looking around and no one had any idea," Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden said. "We thought the people above us were doing something. I've never felt one, so that was a first."
The stands were already clearing out when the quake hit soon after the down-to-the-wire game had ended, the shaking felt for the better part of a minute in the stadium's press box.
A magnitude 4.7 earthquake that struck the area early Saturday rattled homes and businesses, but emergency officials said no injuries were reported and that there had been no immediate reports of major damages.
The Saturday night quake could prove the most powerful on state record if the 5.6 reading reported by the U.S. Geological Survey stands.
The late-night quake was slightly less in intensity than a temblor that rattled the East Coast on Aug. 23. That 5.8 magnitude earthquake was centered in Virginia and was felt from Georgia to Canada. No major damage was reported, although cracks were reported at the Washington Monument, the National Cathedral suffered damage to stonework, and a number of federal buildings were evacuated.
USGS records show that a 5.5 magnitude earthquake struck El Reno, just west of Oklahoma City, in 1952 and, before Oklahoma became a state in 1907, a quake of similar magnitude 5.5 struck in northeastern Indian Territory in 1882.
The Saturday night quake was felt as far away as Tennessee and Wisconsin, according to reports received by the USGS.