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City Response to Wednesday Earthquakes

1/7/2016
Contact: Alan King, Department of Public Works & Utilities |

City of Wichita officials say they have activated an Earthquake Response Plan following two earthquakes that occurred within minutes late Wednesday night.

“Each earthquake was of significant magnitude,” said Alan King, the Director of Public Works & Utilities.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported a 4.7 magnitude earthquake, followed immediately by a 4.8 magnitude earthquake and a number of aftershocks that occurred late Wednesday.

Beginning early Thursday morning, City staff began visually inspecting the City’s most critical infrastructure: water treatment plants, water and wastewater distribution and collection pipes, streets, bridges, facilities and the Wichita/Valley Center Floodway.

Preliminary results report that three water line breaks occurred around the time of the earthquake, which is a number higher than usual, King said. As the water lines are repaired, staff will investigate what caused the water lines to break and determine if it was related to the earthquakes or other factors.

Some damage has been reported at City facilities though the damage is not currently affecting operations. No damage has been observed thus far at City Hall, Century II, or the Wichita Public Library.

City staff will continue its assessment throughout the day.

Public Works, Metropolitan Area Building and Construction Department, Wichita Fire Department and other agencies are coordinating efforts to ensure that critical City assets are in good working order.

Once the assessment has been completed, staff will prepare a report that will be provided to the City Manager.

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