Moderate earthquake hits Southern Colorado; 3.9-magnitude quake hit near Trinidad

Posted at 11:54 AM, Aug 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-23 15:49:12-04

TRINIDAD, Colo. -- A moderate earthquake hit southern Colorado on Tuesday.

The United States Geological Survey initially reported a 4.5-magnitude earthquake 26 miles west-southwest of Trinidad, it was very close to the border of Colorado and New Mexico. The earthquake's magnitude was later downgraded to 3.9.

Authorities in Las Animas County, Colorado, and in New Mexico's Colfax and Taos counties said there are no reports of damage. says there have been 12 earthquakes in the Trinidad area in the last year.

A 5.3-magnitude earthquake in August 2011 was the most severe the state had seen in decades. It damaged homes and caused rockslides. USGS determined that quake was caused by wastewater injection related to hydraulic fracturing.

While officials have not pinpointed the cause of this earthquake, the Colorado Geological Survey says Colorado has a history of natural and triggered earthquakes. The nearest fault to Trinidad is the Holocene fault, about 35 miles of Trinidad. The Raton Basin, south of Trinidad, is also home to many active coalbed methane wells.

Learn more about Colorado's history with earthquakes here.


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