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Five earthquakes hit central Oklahoma early Tuesday

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Five earthquakes shook central Oklahoma early Tuesday, with the highest 4.3 magnitude quake hitting at 1:56 a.m., Central time.

The temblors began at around 1:45 a.m. near the city of Chandler, Okla., which is about 30 miles northeast of Oklahoma City, the US Geological Survey reports. An official answering the dispatch line for the Oklahoma County Sheriff's office told the Associated Press that they have received no reports of damage or injuries.

Jana Pursley, a USGS geophysicist, told the Associated Press that all the quakes were shallow, measuring about three miles deep, which is common for the area. She added that it is common for several earthquakes to occur during a short period of time.

The most recent quake occurred at 5:16 a.m. near Luther, Okla., at a magnitude of 4.2. The quakes were felt in Oklahoma City, where the Oklahoma Zoo tweeted, “that was certainly wild.”

“At this point, it looks like a main shock, aftershock sequence. There are even a bunch of smaller ones,” Austin Holland, a geophysicist at the Oklahoma Geological Survey in Norman, told the Oklahoman in Oklahoma City. He is collecting data from Tuesday’s quakes to see if there were more than five.

The Oklahoma Red Cross tweeted that they “are not anticipating damage” from the earthquakes. And although earthquakes east of the Colorado Rockies are infrequent, the Red Cross advises people to know how to react during an earthquake event. Their recommended action:  Drop, cover, and hold on. It’s a message that is part of a larger regional campaign, ShakeOut, which the Red Cross has been advertising in several central US states including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

“Oklahoma is not immune to earthquakes,” the Red Cross said in a statement in January. The strongest earthquake in Oklahoma happened in November 2011, a 5.6 magnitude earthquake during which 2 people were injured and 14 homes were destroyed.

The Oklahoma earthquakes are small compared to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that occurred near the Iran-Pakistan border at 3:15 local time Tuesday.  Iran declared a state of emergency and dozens of people are feared dead. This is the second earthquake within a week that has caused severe damage in southern Iran.

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