Aug 23, 2011 7:29 PM by David Ortiviz

Quake rattles homes, mountain sides in Trinidad

Several earthquakes hit in Southern Colorado within the past 24 hours triggering several rock slides near Trinidad. The Colorado Department of Transportation has been busy clearing the roads and checking for structural damage. Meanwhile, people in Trinidad are still talking about the shock waves they felt.

"I thought someone was breaking into my apartment," said Trish Smith, a Trinidad resident. "My shelves were shaking and the whole place shook," she added.

A magnitude 5.3 quake hit nearby around 11:45 p.m. startling residents.

"It felt like a pretty good sized one," said Tom Davis, with the Trinidad Chamber of Commerce. "I felt it rocking through my house, it started at the back of the house and worked all the way through the front," he added.

They've had earthquakes in this region before, but nothing this powerful in decades. "They're typically small, between 2.0 and 3.5," said Davis.

"I've lived here for 15 years and never felt an earthquake like that here, so it was scary," said Smith.

The earthquakes triggered rock slides on I-25 and Highway 12 near Trinidad. CDOT crews inspected close to 100 bridges and more than 200 miles of road.

"We're looking for any kind of separation, cracks or any kind of damage that appears new," said Brad, a CDOT worker. So far there's no obvious damage and the rock slides were cleaned up. "All the roads are all clear now, we do have snow plows patrolling the area in case there are some rocks that are still going to come down," said Jeff VanMeter, with CDOT.

The tremors may have also startled a mother bear and her cubs. They wandered into downtown Trinidad and took shelter in a tree. Perhaps they were surprised by the earthquakes.



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