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Weekly wrap-up: Powerful earthquake rattles Oklahoma; Deadly flooding strikes Albania and South Africa

A powerful earthquake shook Oklahoma Sunday night, while unseasonable warmth pervaded through the north-central United States and Northwest this week.

The magnitude 5.0 earthquake, which occurred at 7:44 p.m. CST near the town of Cushing, Oklahoma, was considered one of the strongest in the state's history. Cushing is located about 54 miles northeast of Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency for Payne County.

About 40 to 50 buildings suffered damage, which included cracks to buildings and fallen bricks and facades, the Associated Press reported. Sunday's quake marked the third in Oklahoma this year with a magnitude of 5.0 or greater.

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More than 100 wildfires continued to burn across the interior southern U.S., bringing hazy, smoke-filled skies to cities such as Asheville, North Carolina, Knoxville, Tennessee and Atlanta. Much of the South is suffering from abnormally dry to exceptional drought conditions.

Unseasonable warmth was felt in parts of the north-central states as well as parts of the West.

Fargo, North Dakota, broke a 129-year-old record on Sunday. The city reached 73 F, breaking the record of 70 set in 1887. In Michigan, the city of Sault Ste Marie also broke a record high from the 1800s. A high of 65 surpassed the previous record of 62 from 1893 on Monday.

Seattle set record highs on Monday and Tuesday. With a high of 70 F on Tuesday, it was the latest season high of 70 in Seattle since Nov. 4 in 1949 and 1980.

Flooding rainstorms killed at least three people in Albania on Tuesday, Reuters reported. Bridges were destroyed in the country's mountainous northern region, while low-lying agricultural areas were flooded out.

South Africa also endured deadly flooding this week, as high water swept through Johannesburg and surrounding areas.

A man stands up to his waist in water next to flooded cars in Kashar, 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the capital Tirana Tuesday Nov. 8, 2016. Albanian authorities sent army troops and other personnel to help people evacuate because of floods caused by heavy rain. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)

Two tornadoes touched down near Rome on Sunday, killing two people and leaving at least 20 injured. The twisters caused significant damage and were recorded toppling power lines as they rampaged through the area.

Elsewhere in Europe, the first widespread snow since the spring fell across the United Kingdom on Tuesday.

Snowfall totaled 2-8 cm (1-3 inches) across parts of northern England and Scotland with higher amounts in some locations above 300 meters (1,000 feet) in elevation, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Eric Leister.

Several AccuWeather meteorologists and staff writers contributed content to this article.


Have questions, comments, or a story to share? Email Kevin Byrne at Kevin.Byrne@accuweather.com, follow him on Twitter at @Accu_Kevin. Follow us @breakingweather, or on Facebook