Minor quake shakes things up in Garfield County | PostIndependent.com

Minor quake shakes things up in Garfield County

People in West Glenwood and New Castle felt the earth shake under their feet Friday as an earthquake hit just before 3 p.m.”We have an event,” said Bruce Presgrave, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Service National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, where the quake was recorded.It measured 3.8 magnitude on the Richter scale.The epicenter of the quake was approximately five miles west of Glenwood, Presgrave said. According to the NEIC Web site, the quake occurred 5 kilometers or 3.1 miles underground.Presgrave said a 3.8 magnitude quake is not expected to cause any damage.”It might knock things off shelves but we really wouldn’t expect any damage,” he said.People from West Glenwood to New Castle definitely felt the tremor.Debbie Guccini, who was at her ground floor office at Rocky Mountain Realtors in New Castle, heard a thud. “I thought someone had fallen upstairs or a truck had hit the building,” she said.Frightened, she ran outside.”I’m thinking, it’s going to come down on top of me,” she said.Todd Hurst was at home in West Glenwood making lunch at the time.”All of a sudden the house started to shake,” he said. And he heard the glasses in the dish washer rattle.At town hall in New Castle, police officer Dennis Mahan also felt the building moving.”It was a little scary,” he said.He called law enforcement and fire dispatch in Rifle. “They felt it,” he said.Earthquakes are not unknown in the area, Presgrave said.”Minor earthquakes (like Friday’s) are relatively common” in the Rocky Mountains, he said. A quick search of the center’s records came up with a 4.0 magnitude quake in the area on Aug. 9, 2001.However, according to Post Independent records, there was a smaller quake in 2004.A 2.5 magnitude earthquake hit Nov. 26, at 5:38 p.m., 15 miles southeast of Glenwood Springs, a day after the rockfall that knocked holes in Interstate 70 and closed it for some 30 hours. Experts discounted any connection between the quake and the rockfall.About 15 years ago, a series of “little quakes” hit the Carbondale area, Presgrave said.The relatively small size of the quake was cold comfort for Guccini.”I grew up here, and I never felt anything like it,” she said.Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. 510dgray@postindependent.com

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