Magnitude 4.5 earthquake near Paradox Valley

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- A magnitude 4.5 earthquake shook much of the Western Slope and eastern Utah Monday morning.

It happened around 10:00 a.m. about eight miles east of the Utah border near Paradox Valley. According to the United States Geological Survey, there have been no damage or injuries reported, however, residents around the Grand Valley felt the quake.

"I heard a bump, a loud bump. I didn't remember any trucks going by. When I looked over at my couch, there were some loose papers laying there that were wiggling," said Fruita resident, Janet Irvine.

"We just noticed that the walls, and stuff, just kind of started shaking. We could hear product shaking on the shelves," said Grand Junction resident, Eldon Nestle.

The USGS says that this earthquake was a little stronger than the ones that usually happen in Colorado.

"It's an unusual size for an earthquake in this area. Most anywhere in Colorado gets small quakes, but this is a little bit unusual to have on this size," said Don Blakeman, USGS Geophysicist.

Blakeman also said that the state, on average, will get 20 earthquakes each year. They usually are a magnitude 3.0 or less.

"We're not on a tectonic plate boundary, like California or Alaska, so we tend not to have larger earthquakes," said Blakeman.

According to Blakeman, there's a chance that fracking is to blame.

"It's possible that this is an 'induced' earthquake. What that means is in some areas of the country the disposal of fracking fluids in deep wells can occasionally cause, what we call an 'induced' earthquake. In other words, they're man-made," said Blakeman.

Further studying of the occurrence will help the agency figure out the cause of the quake.



 
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