Earthquake rattles Saline County, other parts of central Kansas

Saline County residents received a surprise wake up call on Wednesday when a 4.3-magnitude...
Saline County residents received a surprise wake up call on Wednesday when a 4.3-magnitude earthquake struck near the town of Gypsum, Kan.(KWCH)
Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 8:04 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 8, 2021 at 8:19 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Wednesday evening: Wednesday morning residents in the town of Gypsum, Kan., woke up to a lot of shaking.

A 4.3-magnitude earthquake struck around 7:45 a.m. followed by smaller aftershocks throughout the day.

McKenzie Srna who lives near the quake’s epicenter, between Gypsum and Salina, said the rumbling sounded like a train coming through.

“It was pretty loud, it had the rumble. And honestly, it lasted forever,” she said.

Jay Plan said it sounded like a heavy thud.

“I felt a really heavy thud. A thud like a truck hit this mobile home,” he said.

Security video from Salina shows the moment the earthquake moved through town. In another video from local convenience store in Gypsum, snack, cases of beer and even the TV can be seen shaking.

Saline County earthquake surveillance

“The biggest thing for us was our barn door was really shaking and moving, kind of going back and forth on the wall. I didn’t know if it was gonna fly off the tracks or what!” Srna said.

Lou Roncase recently moved to Gypsum from California. He said he’s experienced a 7.1 magnitude quake.

“Pictures coming off the walls, house shaking on the foundation. But I didn’t move to Kansas to be an earthquake guy,” Roncase said.

People in the Gypsum area say smaller earthquakes have become more frequent in recent months. Still, they say the one that hit Wednesday morning was the biggest they’ve felt in a long time.

Wednesday morning: An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude from the U.S. Geological Survey of 4.3 and centered in Gypsum was felt across the state Wednesday morning at around 7:45. Viewers and social media followers reported the earthquake being felt in Ellsworth, Newton, Overland Park, Marion, Wichita, Roxbury, Salina, Lindsborg, Abilene and other communities.

Gypsum is approximately 20 miles southeast of Salina in Saline County.

The Kansas Geological Survey reported the earthquake at a 4.2 magnitude with small aftershocks under 3.0.

Here is a sampling of viewer and reader comments on the earthquake:

  • “I felt it in Great Bend lasted like 2-3 seconds of light shaking. If I was walking around I wouldn’t have noticed.”
  • “We are here in Lincoln and we felt it too! At first we thought it was a big truck going down the street.”
  • “We live 20 miles straight south of Russell, Ks on Hwy 281 and we were lying in bed and both of us felt the 106 year old 2 story limestone home shake just slightly and the roof pop.”
  • “I did not feel this one but it’s still super weird/scary/infuriating that earthquakes are happening in Kansas.”
  • “Northern Russell County. I felt the bed shake from side to side for about 4 or 5 seconds.”
  • We were asleep—like a booming! It moved our bed—cat jumped across the room! Whole house shook!
  • “Wow, we just had a solid earthquake near Roxbury, Kansas! The whole house shook and some items fell.”
  • Felt it southeast of Rush Center. It lasted only about 3 seconds, but it was almost like I heard it coming, before I felt it. Sounded like a sudden strong wind hit the house and the windows rattled, followed by a ‘knocking’ sound.”
  • “It felt like someone nudged my office chair with me in it, here in St. John.”
  • “I felt my bed shake for a few seconds...I thought my cat was on my bed scratching himself but no cat on my bed! 2nd time in my life I have felt shakes from an earthquake.”

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