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Scientists: Earthquake risk increases in 2016
Image: Tekla Perry via Flickr

Scientists: Earthquake risk increases in 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal scientists say the chance of a damaging earthquake hitting east of the Rockies has increased significantly, much of it a man-made byproduct of drilling for energy. Oklahoma now has a 1 in 8 chance of damaging quakes in 2016, surpassing California as the state with the highest probability.

In a first-of-its-kind effort, U.S. Geological Survey Monday released a map for damaging quakes in the current year.

USGS seismologists said 7 million people live in areas where the risk has dramatically jumped for earthquakes caused by disposal of wastewater, a byproduct of drilling for oil and gas. That is mostly concentrated in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Colorado and Arkansas.

Natural earthquake risk also increased around the New Madrid fault in Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas and Illinois.

Scientists: Earthquake risk increases in 2016

This image provided by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) shows the USGS forecast for damage from natural and induced earthquakes in the U.S. in 2016. Federal scientists say the chance of damaging earthquakes hitting east of the Rockies has increased significantly, much of it man-made as byproduct of drilling for energy. Oklahoma now has the nation’s highest with a 1 in 8 chance of damaging ground shaking in 2016, passing California. (U.S. Geological Survey via AP)

In related news, Oklahoma officials order $235M cut to state agencies.

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