The U.S. Geological Survey reported that a magnitude 5.3 earthquake shook the state of Colorado late Monday night, making it the strongest earthquake the state has felt in over 40 years.
The quake struck at approximately 11:46 MDT, with its epicenter located only 9 miles away from the town of Trinidad, and approximately 180 miles south of Denver near the New Mexico border. Shaking was also felt in parts of New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska.
The Associated Press reports that Amy Vaughn, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Service, says that the quake is the strongest Colorado has seen since a 5.7 rocked the northwestern part of the Centennial State in 1973. The epicenter for that quake was about 50 miles north of Grand Junction.
A 4.6 magnitude quake hit the area even earlier yesterday at approximately 5:30 p.m. A number of different earthquakes and aftershocks have been recorded around the same site since the big one hit late last night.
Sheriff James W. Casias of the Las Animas County Sheriff's Office in Trinidad spoke to The Christian Post about the quake. It seems the most significant problem caused by the quakes is debris that has fallen on some of the roads there. He says that their office has only received one call thus far from a concerned citizen.
"I haven't had any other than just some minor damages. We're trying to check that out this morning now,” he said. “We've got quite a few rock slides that the DOT and the county have been out there removing."
Casias says he felt the earlier 4.6 magnitude quake while he was at home. He says it lasted about 8 to 10 seconds, and when he called in to dispatch, they said they hadn't received any complaints.
The Associated Press reports that USGS geophysicist Jessica Sigala says that there was, in fact, some minor damage done by the quake. Cracked walls, broken chimneys and items falling off of shelves were the worst of it, though, and no injuries have been reported.
Ida Spahr told The Christian Post about her experience with the quake while eating breakfast at Bob & Earl's Cafe in Trinidad.
"I was asleep and everything just shook...and I woke up shook up, and I said, 'What the heck?',” she recalled.
“It was just a big, old rumble. Everything rattled,” she added. Fortunately nothing was broken at Spahr's house, other than her good night's sleep.