Quantcast

Fracking Forces Schools to Practice Earthquake Drills for First Time Ever

Energy

As the number of fracking-related earthquakes increase with alarming frequency and intensity across the Central U.S., more and more people in the area might be wondering something they haven't had to before: "What do I do during an earthquake?"

Reuters reports that government agencies are preparing residents in the Central U.S. on how to stay safe in case of a damaging earthquake. Tomorrow, Oct. 15., the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other organizations are coordinating the "Great ShakeOut," a nationwide earthquake drill.

A large number of residents from the Central U.S. will be participating in their first-ever national earthquake drill. According to Reuters, "About 3 million people are signed up to participate across 14 central states that include Oklahoma, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois and for the first time, Texas, up from 2.76 million a year ago, organizers said. Nationwide, nearly 19 million people are registered for the drills, FEMA said."

Sizable tremors are currently shaking America's Heartland, and while some temblors come from a natural shift of fault lines, in Oklahoma, these long-dormant fault lines have been awakened due to the injection of wastewater into deep underground disposal wells from fracking operations, scientists have confirmed.

Oklahoma now registers seismic activity, hovering around a 3.0 magnitude, almost every day—from two a year to almost two a day. In July, a 4.5 magnitude quake near the city of Crescent could be felt in Kansas, Texas, Missouri and Arkansas.

Residents of Cushing, Oklahoma, who felt a 4.5 magnitude quake on Saturday "are particularly in need of the training," officials told Reuters. Cushing also happens to hold one of the largest crude oil storage facilities in the world.

Additionally, many school districts and companies in the Central U.S. are, for the first time, teaching students how to Drop, Cover and Hold during an earthquake, something that's usually the domain of quake-prone states such as California.

When a earthquake struck a public school in Crescent, Oklahoma three months ago, school officials found themselves stumped at what to do.

"In Oklahoma when you have a natural disaster like a tornado you are trained to get underground," school superintendent Mickey Hart told Reuters. "In an earthquake you don't want to get underground. What do you do?"

The U.S. Geological Survey has identified eight other states that have seen more frequent and stronger quakes, including states that neighbor Oklahoma: New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas and Arkansas.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Oil and Water Don’t Mix: California Must Ban Fracking

2 More Fracking-Related Earthquakes Hit Oklahoma Despite New Rules Meant to Prevent Them

John Oliver Rips Fracking Industry for its Deadly Bakken Boom, Killing One Person Every Six Weeks

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Sabrina Kessler

Far-reaching allegations about how a climate-sinning American multinational could shamelessly lie to the public about its wrongdoing mobilized a small group of New York students on a cold November morning. They stood in front of New York's Supreme Court last week to follow the unprecedented lawsuit against ExxonMobil.

Read More Show Less

By Alex Robinson

Leah Garcés used to hate poultry farmers.

The animal rights activist, who opposes factory farming, had an adversarial relationship with chicken farmers until around five years ago, when she sat down to listen to one. She met a poultry farmer called Craig Watts in rural North Carolina and learned that the problems stemming from factory farming extended beyond animal cruelty.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
People navigate snow-covered sidewalks in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on Nov. 11 in Chicago. Scott Olson / Getty Images

Temperatures plunged rapidly across the U.S. this week and around 70 percent of the population is expected to experience temperatures around freezing Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
A general view of the flooded St. Mark's Square after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on Nov. 13 in Venice. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP / Getty Images

Two people have died as Venice has been inundated by the worst flooding it has seen in more than 50 years, The Guardian reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
Supply boats beside Aberdeen Wind Farm on Aug. 4, 2018. Rab / CC BY 2.0

President Donald Trump doesn't like wind turbines.

In April, he claimed they caused cancer, and he sued to stop an offshore wind farm that was scheduled to go up near land he had purchased for a golf course in Aberdeenshire in Scotland. He lost that fight, and now the Trump Organization has agreed to pay the Scottish government $290,000 to cover its legal fees, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A verdant and productive urban garden in Havana. Susanne Bollinger / Wikimedia Commons

By Paul Brown

When countries run short of food, they need to find solutions fast, and one answer can be urban farming.

Read More Show Less
Trevor Noah appears on set during a taping of "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" in New York on Nov. 26, 2018. The Daily Show With Trevor Noah / YouTube screenshot

By Lakshmi Magon

This year, three studies showed that humor is useful for engaging the public about climate change. The studies, published in The Journal of Science Communication, Comedy Studies and Science Communication, added to the growing wave of scientists, entertainers and politicians who agree.

Read More Show Less
rhodesj / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Cities around the country are considering following the lead of Berkeley, California, which became the first city to ban the installation of natural gas lines in new homes this summer.

Read More Show Less