Kansas Earthquakes Worsen Damage to Century-Old Courthouse

Harper County officials say frequent earthquakes are adding to the cost of repairing the century-old county courthouse, which was already deteriorating because of age.

The Hutchinson News reports the county was considering spending $400,000 to fix cracks in the courthouse’s staircases. Then a sharp increase in earthquakes began hitting south-central Kansas, causing more damage. The latest estimate is that it will cost $1.1 million just to fix the staircases. Other damage includes cracks in interior walls of the courthouse.

County commissioners say photos show the quakes have worsened the damage in the courthouse.

The Kansas Geological Survey has recorded more than 200 earthquakes in Kansas since Jan. 1, 2013, with most in south-central area. There had been five earthquakes detected in the state in the previous 10 years.