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Earthquake cluster slams Kansas county with 11 quakes in 5 days

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A county in central Kansas experienced a pretty shocking uptick in seismic activity last week — 11 earthquakes in five days.

It started with a magnitude-2.4 earthquake Wednesday morning just 2 1/2 miles southwest of Hutchinson, Kansas, in Reno County, according to the United States Geological Survey.

There would be 10 more before the week was out.

The second came just before 8 a.m. on Friday. The magnitude-4.2 shook the area, centered less than a mile southwest of Wednesday’s temblor. More than 1,000 people reported feeling the quake across Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri, according to the USGS.

While there was no report of severe damage, some older buildings sported small cracks after the earthquake, and area residents say dishes and store merchandise were rousted from their shelves, according to the Hutchinson News.

It wouldn’t be the last quake on Friday. A magnitude-3.1 quake shook the area about 10 minutes later followed by four more tremors through the day ranging from magnitude 2.4 to 3.0, according to the USGS.

Seismic activity in the area continued on Saturday with three more quakes — magnitudes 2.0 to 3.0 — before a magnitude 4.1 shook the area early Sunday morning, according to the USGS.

While Reno County has been known to experience a few low-magnitude tremors here and there, experts say an earthquake topping magnitude 4.0 is not surprising.

“This [4.2] was not unexpected in terms of magnitude. It was not unreasonable based on the recursion situation, the number of 2′s and 3′s you’ve had,” Kansas Geological Survey director Rick Miller said, according to the newspaper

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Dawson covers goings-on across the central region, from breaking to bizarre. She is an MSt candidate at the University of Cambridge and lives in Kansas City.
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