Monday night earthquake: 4.4 on Richter scale |

Monday night earthquake: 4.4 on Richter scale

Joshua Roberts

The ground trembled briefly Monday night in Craig as Western Colorado experienced its first earthquake in more than three years.

An earthquake measuring 4.4 on the Richter Scale originated about 12 miles north of Craig, the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Earthquake Information Center in Golden reported Monday night.

The earthquake occurred at about 8:55 p.m.

As of press time Monday night, there had been no structural damage reported in Craig as a result of the event.

By 10 p.m., about 115 people had reported feeling the earthquake to the NEIC.

Most of the reports were in Craig, but some were from Hamilton and Hayden, the NEIC reported.

“The intensity that people described feeling is intensity 3, which is a weak amount of shaking and no damage,” NEIC geophysicist Richard Buckmaster said.

He said earthquakes, particularly the kind experienced Monday night in Craig, aren’t totally unusual.

“This magnitude is certainly not out of the expectation of anywhere in the U.S.,” Buckmaster said. “It can happen almost anywhere. : It certainly doesn’t happen very frequently, but it’s not completely unexpected.”

Monday night was the first earthquake in Western Colorado since a tremor measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale occurred in February 2006, five miles west of Glenwood Springs, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

In September 2005, a 4.1 Richter scale earthquake occurred about 14 miles northeast of Steamboat Springs, the Weather Service reported.

“They (earthquakes) are not every day occurrences, but we’ve had a few,” said Joe Ramey, a Weather Service meteorologist. “They occur, and typically they’re very light here in Colorado.”

He said the magnitude of the Craig-area tremor was nothing to be alarmed at.

“At 4.4, there shouldn’t be any damage caused by the earthquake,” Ramey said. “Five is typically when we start getting damage.”

An earthquake 5.0 on the Richter scale is 10 times stronger than a 4.0, Ramey said.

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