Earthquake rolls across southeastern Colo. plains
August 17, 2009
LAMAR (AP) – An earthquake hit Colorado’s plains, setting off tremors across the southeastern part of the state and into western Kansas, but causing no reported damage.
The National Earthquake Information Center in Golden confirmed that a magnitude 3.9 earthquake occurred at 6:22 p.m. Sunday in southeastern Colorado, about 180 miles southeast of Denver.
State geologist Vince Matthews said Monday that the quake might have originated on an unmapped extension of the Cheraw Fault, believed to be a young fault. It’s one of only three in Colorado to be listed on the National Earthquake Hazard Map published by the U.S. Geological Survey.
Matthews said the Cheraw Fault has been active, with the last big quake occurring roughly 8,000 years ago. He said its location is unusual because most of Colorado’s faults are in the mountains or foothills.
Retiree Mary Breslin told The Denver Post that she was making dinner in Eads when she felt the rolling tremors.
“I really thought it was an explosion,” Breslin said. “It did not occur to me in the beginning that it was an earthquake.”
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The Prowers County sheriff’s department had no reports of damage from the tremors Monday.
Geologic studies show there are about 100 potentially active faults in Colorado. More than 500 earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 or higher have been recorded in the state since 1870.
Colorado’s largest quake was a magnitude 6.6 along the Northern Front Range, the east side of the Rockies, in 1882.
Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com