MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Saturday, a 5.6-magnitude earthquake hit the area near the city of Pawnee, Oklahoma, becoming the strongest tremor in the history of the state. Several aftershocks have also been reported since then.
The New York Times reported on Saturday that following the tremor local authorities ordered oil and gas operators to stop the activities of three dozen wastewater disposal wells.
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the high-pressure injection of water, sand and toxic chemicals into the ground to extract oil and natural gas from shale formations.
Oklahoma has already been repeatedly hit with numerous tremors, many of which have been attributed to the fracking practice’s injection of wastewater into the earth. The method has been heavily criticized for the associated environmental risks and its potential to trigger earthquakes.