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Multiple earthquakes confirmed Thursday night, Friday near Trinidad

LAS ANIMAS COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- Multiple earthquakes were confirmed in Southern Colorado overnight Thursday into Friday morning.

According to the United States Geological Survey, there was one earthquake near Trinidad on March 9 and five more on March 10.

March 10, 2023/USGS

Below is a timeline of the earthquakes:

  • M 4.3 - 13 miles from Trinidad, Thursday, March 9, 11:06 p.m. MST
  • M 2.8 - 11 miles from Trinidad, Friday, March 10, 1:40 a.m. MST
  • M 2.5 - 15 miles from Trinidad, Friday, March 10, 2:43 a.m. MST
  • M 3.0 - 12 km N of Segundo, Colorado Friday, March 10, 3:50 a.m. MST
  • M 3.5 - 8 km N of Segundo, Colorado Friday, March 10, 8:30 a.m. MST
  • M 4.3 - 12 miles from Trinidad, Friday, March 10, 1:31 p.m. MST

The epicenter of the temblors was seven miles north of the town of Valdez, along Highway 12, approximately 15 miles west of Trinidad.

No reports of property damage were made following the earthquakes.


Still, many residents told KRDO they did feel the impacts of the quakes -- especially the first and last, which were the most powerful at 4.3 on the Richter scale.

Joe Richards, the emergency manager for Las Animas County, said that they could've caused some damage had they been closer to Trinidad.


"Back in 2011, we had an earthquake that was 5.3, and we had considerable damage," he recalled. "What it does in older jurisdictions like ours, with old adobe (and) unreinforced masonry, is very susceptible to earthquakes and crumbles very easily."

Michael Owens, owner of the Big 4 Country Store, in Valdez, said that the first quake woke him from a sound sleep.


"All of a sudden, my building just shakes and rumbles -- BOOM! -- and I jumped," he explained. "I was dog-sitting my sister's dogs and they were barking, and I knew right away it was an earthquake. I don't think this is a coincidence. I kid you not, there's an atheist I'd been talking to. I was telling him about the earthquake. The Bible says that signs and wonders follow those who believe. As I'm texting him that, my building rumbles. At 1:30 this afternoon."


Dora Sanchez is one of the few people who said that she felt the first quake 15 miles east, in Trinidad.

"I was laying on my couch watching TV, and I felt myself move," she said. "I looked down and saw the blanket on my couch and it kind of slid off. Maybe ten seconds, I guess? Kind of fast."


With no damage from the quake, Sanchez resumed watching TV and Owens went back to sleep.


Earthquakes aren't uncommon in this region of southern Colorado, near the New Mexico line; there have now been eight reported since late January.


"It makes me wonder if there's a bigger one coming up," said Jessica Olguin, a Las Animas County resident. "At work today, everyone was talking about the earthquakes. Some people said they heard dishes and picture frames shaking and rattling."

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