EARTHQUAKE

OU police officer Tony Navarro takes some measurements of Dale Hall Tower following Wednesday morning's earthquake. Transcript photo by Jerry Laizure

When Shelley Konjeczny felt rumblings shake up the nine-story Dale Hall Tower at the University of Oklahoma, she thought the elevator had crashed.

But the boom that followed rattled more than her office. It shook her nerves.

“I heard that and I knew it wasn’t the elevator. I knew it was an earthquake,” said Konjeczny, who works as a secretary in the philosophy department.

A 5.1 magnitude earthquake shook central Oklahoma, with an epicenter five miles northeast of Noble and eight miles southeast of Norman on Wednesday morning, Oklahoma Geological Survey seismologist Austin Holland. Oklahoma Geological Survey is a state agency at OU, responsible for research on the state’s land, water, mineral and energy resources.

Konjeczny and the rest in Dale Hall were evacuated from the building after some cracks were spotted in the building, such as one running up the west side that a couple of police officers pointed out.

But the mass exit was only a precaution, Provost Nancy Mergler said. After evaluation, it was determined the cracks were old, Mergler said.

“Nothing very exciting here,” she said. “All buildings have cracks. We just wanted to make sure it wasn’t damage caused by an earthquake.”

Around 10 a.m. the yellow tape was removed and people were allowed back inside.

“I think for people from Oklahoma to feel an earthquake like this, it’s a big deal,” Mergler said. “For folks from California, this is nothing.”

But for some like Luke Brannon, who stood outside Dale Hall peering up at the tower, they didn’t feel it. They heard it.

“It was like a low, almost inorganic sound like nothing that comes from the Earth,” said Brannon, who works for OU’s Physical Plant. Brannon said he was at home when the quake sent rumblings through Norman and noted his windows vibrating like speakers.

Nanette Light 366-3541 nlight@normantranscript.com

Trending Video