Thirteen Earthquakes Shake Southern Colorado

By: Patrick Nelson Email
By: Patrick Nelson Email
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A series of earthquakes have struck Southern Colorado. The U.S. Geological Survey has added a 3.9 magnitude quake at 8:11 a.m. Tuesday, to a list of eight others that have rocked the area since Monday morning.

Those quakes also include the largest earthquake to strike Colorado in almost 40 years. It shook people near the New Mexico border, and could be felt across Southern Colorado.

The National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo., says a magnitude 5.3 earthquake was recorded at about 11:46 p.m. MDT Monday about nine miles southwest of Trinidad, Colo., and about 180 miles south of Denver. It follows two smaller quakes that hit the area earlier in the day.

The U.S. Geological Service says eleven of the earthquakes had an epicenter near Cokedale. The other two occurred in La Veta and Starkville.

USGS geophysicist Amy Vaughn says the 5.3 quake is the largest in Colorado since a magnitude 5.7 was recorded in 1973. That quake was centered in the northwestern part of the state -- about 50 miles north of Grand Junction.

A Las Animas County Sheriff's Office dispatcher said a few homes have been damaged and deputies were investigating reports of rock slides along a highway. At least one building in Segundo was shaken to bits by the quakes. The owners of that building say it was unused, but was approximately 100 years old.

The Big 4 Country Store in Trinidad reports a significant number of bottles from their liquor section fell due to the shaking. They're estimating approximately $1,000 worth of bottles were destroyed.

Here's a rundown of the quakes, according to the U.S. Geological Survey:

The first registered at 2.9 magnitude at 7:52 am Monday. The second was a 4.6 at 5:30pm. That was followed by a 3.0 at 8:48pm. Then the whopping 5.3 at 11:46pm Monday night.

Early Tuesday morning at 12:56am, another 3.5 earthquake hit, followed by a 3.2 quake at 1:01am, and a 3.8 quake shaking the area near Trinidad at 1:17am. A 2.5 magnitude quake hit at 3:32am Tuesday, a ninth earthquake struck at 3:37am Tuesday with a magnitude of 3.2. The tenth quake hit at 6:03am with a magnitude of 2.6.

The earthquake that also struck Virginia on Tuesday hit an area that historically is not seismically active -- and there's no connection with another rare quake that struck Colorado, U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Daniel McNamara said. Tuesday's magnitude-5.9 quake that rattled much of the East Coast cannot be traced to a specific fault.

[View a full USGS list of the earthquakes.]

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