State’s strongest earthquake of the year strikes NW of Parachute
A 4.3 magnitude earthquake was reported to have struck about 29 miles northwest of Parachute early Friday morning, prompting people across the Western Slope to share their brief experience online.
At that magnitude, it is the strongest earthquake recorded in Colorado in 2018 and one of the largest ever recorded in the region, said United States Geological Survey geophysicist Paul Caruso. The quake occurred a little after 4 a.m. Friday at a depth of 3.3 miles, according to the USGS earthquake tracking center.
“It was big enough that people would feel it, but it wouldn’t cause any damage,” he said.
Caruso said it’s natural to have 4 magnitude earthquakes in Colorado.
A little over an hour after the initial quake, a 2.9 magnitude tremor, likely an aftershock, occurred about a mile south of the first quake, according to the USGS site.
Caruso said it’s not uncommon for earthquakes of this magnitude to produce aftershocks and he believes the second strike was just that.
Shallow earthquakes produce larger aftershocks and at a little over 3 miles underground, he said the first quake was very shallow.
Several people near Parachute and Rifle, and even as far away as Delta, said they felt the shaking in comments to the independent Earthquake Report website, which also tracks earthquake activity around the world.
“My wife and I woke up at 4 a.m. to our bookshelf tapping against the wall and our bed shaking/swaying back and forth, seemed to only last a couple of seconds after we woke up,” one commenter from Glenwood Springs wrote.
A Rulison resident commented, “A jolt woke me up, it sounded like someone bumping into furniture or thunder. The dogs outside barked, then were quiet, but the cat was pretty fidgety.”
And from New Castle, someone wrote: “Felt it while sitting on the couch. I live on the third (top) floor of my building. Lasted about about 20 seconds.”
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Home values from Silt to Parachute are way up, according to tax assessors. That will contribute to a higher tax bill next year.