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4.8-Magnitude Earthquake Rattles Kansas and Leaves Minor Damage

Kansas has experienced more earthquakes since 2013, but a panel commissioned by the governor found there isn't enough evidence to link it to fracking.

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.8 shook parts of Kansas and Oklahoma, the largest since a series of quakes began rattling Kansas a little more than a year ago. The epicenter was near the town of Conway Springs, about 25 miles southwest of Wichita, the U.S. Geological Survey said. It came at 3:40 p.m. local time Wednesday, less than a day after a magnitude-2.6 earthquake was recorded near the southern Kansas town of Anthony.

Kansas Emergency Management spokeswoman Sharon Watson said the only reported damage was from an uprooted tree that cracked a home's foundation. No damage was reported in Oklahoma, said Keli Cain, a spokeswoman at the state's Department of Emergency Services. Kansas began experiencing more earthquakes in fall 2013. This year, the state has recorded more than 90 earthquakes, said Kansas Geological Survey interim director Rex Buchanan.

Studies have shown earthquakes can be caused when fluid, which is a byproduct of various methods of oil and gas production, is injected into disposal wells. A panel commissioned by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback found there wasn't enough evidence to link the Kansas quakes to oil and gas exploration.

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— The Associated Press