The Norman Transcript

Nation/World

December 2, 2013

State adopts quake precautions

PRAGUE — It’s become a predictable routine at Matt Pryor’s insurance agency: An earthquake rumbles through Oklahoma, rattling dishes and nerves. Then the phones light up with calls and text messages from desperate residents asking if it’s too late to buy a policy to cover any damage.

Business at Pryor’s Oklahoma City office has been brisk following a pair of temblors that struck recently near the city of Edmond.

Oklahoma is crisscrossed with fault lines that generate frequent small earthquakes, most too weak to be felt. But after decades of limited seismic activity in this region, earthquakes have become more common in the last several years. And a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey suggests they are here to stay. “The increased hazard has important implications for residents and businesses in the area,” cautioned the report.

Pryor has witnessed the rapid change in thinking.

“It used to be, ‘Do I need earthquake coverage?’ Now it’s changed to, ‘How much insurance do I need?”’ Pryor said.

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