Colorado Could Potentially Be Hit by Devastating Earthquakes, Scientists Warn

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Dimas Ardian/Getty Images)

Although Colorado experiences dozens of earthquakes each year, researchers are now warning that devastating shakes could occur in the Centennial State. 

According to CBS News, Colorado experienced its biggest earthquake with a magnitude of 6.6. Researchers are now predicting another massive quake could cost the state billions in repairs. On average, the state experiences 50 to 70 quakes a year. Most of the quakes are minimal without any real damage. Now researchers believe quaky is essential. They want to pinpoint when the next massive quake could happen. 

Speaking about a potentially massive earthquake in Colorado, Matt Morgan, Director of the Colorado Geological Survey, stated, “What research has done is compiled all of our information and mapped it out. Every year we’ve had earthquakes, we had about 50 so far this year.” 

Researchers report that the latest quake to occur was in Ridgeway earlier in the month. The media outlet further reported that the Colorado Geographical Survey is collecting data from nine seismometers throughout the Centennial State. “It helps us understand the risks we face here in Colorado,” Morgan explained. “We try to learn from the past to bring that into the future.”

Morgan then referred back to Colorado’s biggest earthquake. It was reported on November 7, 1882, which was also election night. “In Denver in the evening, there were reporters working at the Rocky Mountain News and they felt violent shaking while typing their stories up. In Grand Junction, people ran out of their houses.”

Researchers Say Massive Earthquake Like the One in 1882 Could Cost Colorado Nearly $30 Billion in Repairs 

CBS News further reported that researchers are predicting that a massive earthquake such as the one in 1882 may cost Colorado nearly $30 billion in repairs.

“We do have damaging earthquakes here in Colorado,” Morgan clarified. It was also noted that Colorado residents may submit their own earthquake observations. These can be an important part of the research. Residents are encouraged to submit the research to the Colorado Geological Survey. 

Meanwhile, reports that the largest earthquake to occur in Colorado in recent decades was a 5.4 magnitude quake in Garfield County’s Parachute. The event took place in 1972. Another quake of 5.3 magnitude happened in Colorado’s Trinidad in 2011. 

Out There Colorado reported that so far 64 earthquakes have happened in Colorado this year alone. The most powerful quake reached 3.0 magnitude. It took place in the southern part of the state on February 28th. Another 2.2 magnitude quake happened near Portland on November 5th. But the media outlet says quakes below 3.0 magnitude go unfelt by most. 

Morgan went on to add, “Using the building stock and the infrastructure, in 2013 it would have cost about $23 billion to replace the structures that were damaged. Nowadays, we’re probably pushing $30 billion if not more.”