Rare earthquake shakes US states

WASHINGTON - A shallow 4.8-magnitude earthquake rattled large parts of Kansas and Oklahoma on Wednesday, a rare occurrence for two US states more used to tornadoes than tremors.

The quake, which hit at 3:40 pm (2140 GMT), was 5.4 kilometers (3.4 miles) deep and struck close to Conway Springs in Kansas, the US Geological Survey said.

The epicenter was just 53 kilometers from Wichita, the largest city in Kansas, and 200 kilometers from Oklahoma City.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, local media said.

But the quake triggered a torrent of messages on Twitter, with some people saying it shook buildings but others saying they had not even felt it.

"I didn't feel the earthquake, but some folks in my building did," Twitter user @elSicomoro wrote, while @sydneygriffin87 said: "I actually did feel the earthquake and it was very scary."

Cynthia Berner, director of Wichita Libraries, told The Wichita Eagle newspaper: "Slammed all of the inside doors here at the library. So much for shhhh!"

Most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains has infrequent earthquakes, according to the USGS.