Colorado’s largest earthquake since 1967 damages homes

August 23rd, 2011 - 5:38 pm ICT by BNO News  

SEGUNDO, COLORADO (BNO NEWS) — A number of homes were damaged on late Monday evening when a moderate earthquake rocked southern Colorado, seismologists and officials said. There were no casualties.

The 5.3-magnitude earthquake at 11.46 p.m. local time (0546 GMT Tuesday) was centered about 4 miles (6 kilometers) south of Segundo, a small unincorporated community in Las Animas County. It struck about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The USGS estimated that several dozen people living in the area may have felt ‘very strong’ shaking, while more than 700 people were estimated to having perceived strong shaking. In addition, the USGS estimated that some 27,000 people may have felt light to moderate shaking.

A dispatcher for the Las Animas County Sheriff’s Office said a number of homes in Segundo had been damaged, but said there were no injuries. She also said there had been a rockslide on Highway 12.

Monday’s earthquake in Colorado was the largest in the state since a 5.3-magnitude earthquake was recorded near Denver on August 9, 1967. There was also an event in May 1973 which registered as 5.7 on the Richter scale, but the USGS said this was caused by an explosion and not an earthquake.

According to the USGS, Colorado is considered a region of minor earthquake activity, although there are many uncertainties because of the very short time period for which historical data is available. The northwestern and southwestern corners, and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the south-central section of the state, have had no activity in historic times. Eastern Colorado is nearly aseismic.

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