Whose fault is it?

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Whose fault is it?

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Within recent years, Oklahoma has experienced more earthquakes than ever. In November of 2011, Oklahoma experienced a 5.7-magnitude earthquake, which damaged 200 buildings and injured multiple residents.

In 2014, Oklahoma was deemed the most seismically active state in all the lower 48. It has three times as many recorded earthquakes as California. In 2015 alone, Oklahoma felt 6,061 earthquakes.

Scientists have theorized that the spike in the earthquakes is due to the amount of waste water injection wells, where the waste from oil and gas drilling is disposed.

In April of 2015, the Oklahoma State Corporation Commission, the oil and gas regulator of the state, shared data showing there were about 3,200 active waste water injection wells in Oklahoma.

Principal Liz Burns says the current protocol for an earthquake at Broken Arrow High School is to have all students and teachers get under their desks or tables when it is possible; tuck their head with their hands around the sides of their necks, unless you have to hold onto the legs of the table to keep it from falling over; and face away from the windows. If there isn’t a table or desk nearby, students and teachers are asked to cover their face and head with their arms and crouch in a corner inside the building.

After the shaking has ceased, students and staff are advised to check to make sure no one was injured during the quake and the staff member is to report to the main office via phone if it is possible. Students and staff are told to avoid any wires that have fallen to the ground. Once the evacuation notice is given, students and staff are to use a primary route out of the school, unless it is blocked. In the case of their evacuation route being blocked, students and staff are asked to use the closest, and safest, exit.

According to Oklahoma law, Oklahoma schools are not required to have a plan of action in the case of an earthquake.

National Geographic has laid out a few safety tips to prepare citizens in the case of an emergency. These include: find a specific spot in each room of your house that is the sturdiest and where nothing is likely to fall on top of you, keep an emergency kit handy at all times with canned food, flashlights, water, dust goggles and masks, and know how to turn your gas and water mains on and off.

National Geographic has also given tips on how to handle an earthquake when shaking begins. They have advised that you drop to the ground and take cover under a desk if you are at school, and stay inside if you are inside and wait until the shaking has stopped. Avoid anything that could possibly fall on top of you. If you happen to find yourself outside during an earthquake, avoid any buildings, cars, trees, or anything that could easily fall on top of you. If you’re in a car, come to a complete stop in a clear space and wait for the shaking to cease.





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