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1 injured, 40-50 buildings damaged in Oklahoma earthquake

Damage to the Jim E. Hunter building in Cushing following a 5.0 magnitude earthquake Nov. 7. (KOKH)

CUSHING, Okla. (KOKH) — Cushing city officials say one person was injured and 40 to 50 buildings were damaged in Sunday's 5.0 earthquake.

At approximately 7:44 p.m. Nov. 6 the earthquake was recorded about 1.2 miles west of Cushing. The earthquake was initially recorded at a 5.3 magnitude but later dropped to a 5.0.

Cushing City Manager Steve Spears says 40 to 50 buildings were damaged in the earthquake with the majority of the damaged buildings being built in the 1920s. One person came to the Cushing Public Safety Center following the earthquake with a laceration to his arm. The man was then transported to a local hospital.

Spears says that local oil companies shut down operations following the earthquake. As of 9 a.m. Nov. 6, no damage to the pipelines has been reported. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission's Pipeline Safety Department reported that normal operations have resumed Monday in the Cushing oil storage terminal. The OCC will release an action plan soon in response to the earthquake.

Roughly 45-50 people were evacuated from the Cimarron Towers, a senior living facility. Following the earthquake, the Red Cross set up a shelter. As of early Monday, eight people were utilizing the shelter.

Spears reports that a majority of the damage to buildings is superficial but they will be surveying damage to buildings throughout the week.

Spears says that several customers were inside the Cushing movie theater during the earthquake and a portion of the building fell on them. The building was then evacuated. The Cushing Public Safety Center also is recovering after losing a large portion of their ceiling in the earthquake as well as suffering a gas and water leak.

"I'm very proud of the response we had. We tried to stabilize the incident initially and move into recovery. We will be in recovery mode for the next several weeks," Spears said.

A 16-block portion of Cushing is currently blocked off from Moses and Cheery streets, and from Noble to Seay avenues.

Cushing Police Department Chief Tully Folden encourages everyone to stay away from downtown Cushing while they assess damage.

"I know everyone wants to see the damage but it causes a lot of traffic issues," Folden said.

One of the heavily damaged buildings in Cushing is a polling place. City officials are currently working to get the building open for Tuesday's election.

Cushing Public Schools expects to be back in session Tuesday.


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