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Entries in Montana earthquakes (13)


Weekend quake near Lincoln largest in years

USGS data- map from (BUTTE)- A weekend quake that rattled the Upper Blackfoot Valley was the largest to hit Western Montana in a couple of years, and among the largest to ever be recorded in recent decades. 

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake hit near Lincoln on Saturday and registered 4.3 magnitude. People from as far away as Helena reported feeling the quake. 

According to USGS records, it was the largest quake in Montana since a 4.8 magnitude quake was reported near Bozeman 2-years ago. And it was larger than several of the recent quakes near Helena, including a 4.1 magnitude quake which hit 16-years ago. 

The quake is on par with several that have struck Western Montana in recent decades, although many of those were 2-to-3 decades ago. Butte still hold the mark for one of the strongest quakes in recent years, a 5.6 magnitude quake which hit near the Mile High City 11-years ago. 


More small quakes rattle Central Montana

USGS graphic (HELENA)- Two more quakes rattled Central Montana overnight, the latest in a series of quakes that have been recorded across the region this fall. 

The U.S. Geological Survey recorded the two quakes outside Helena in the Clancy area Sunday evening. 

The first quake, which registered a 2.3 magnitude was recorded at 6:12 Sunday evening. Then a stronger quake happened at 9:30, measuring 3.4 magnitude. That second quake was large enough for people to feel the shake, with people in and around the Helena Valley, and even as far west as Missoula reporting they felt the quake. 

There have been five small quakes in the Helena area in the past week alone.


A pair of quakes rattle the Lower Clark Fork

(SANDPOINT, ID)- Not just one, but two sizable quakes rattled the Lower Clark Valley late Thursday night, with the shaking being felt over a wide area of Northern Idaho and far Western Montana.  

The U.S. Geological Survey recorded the first shaking at 7:32 PDT in the evening, with the epicenter of the 4.1 magnitude earthquake just 13-miles southeast of Sandpoint, just east of Lake Oreille. That was enough to be felt as far east as Noxon and Trout Creek in Montana, where residents reported feeling their houses shake with what felt like "thunder", rattling glasses and furniture.  

But the shaking didn't stop there.

Three hours later a second, larger quake was recorded in the same vicinity. 

USGS reports the second quake was 4.2 magnitude with an epicenter 9-miles east of Ponderay, Idaho that hit just before 11 p.m. local time. 

However that wasn't the end of the shaking. A third quake, actually more of an aftershock, measuring 3.3 magnitude was recorded around 1:30 Friday morning, with an epicenter 8-miles east of Sandpoint. 

Bonner County officials reported no damage was the quakes although some downed trees were noticed near the epicenter of the first quake.  

Although a magnitude 4 earthquake is still considered to be "light", the two quakes were fairly shallow, just 5-kilometers below the surface, making them more noticeable to residents in the area. 


Sizable quake shakes Northwest Montana

USGS map(THOMPSON FALLS)- Tuesday's earthquake that hit Northwest Montana was one of the strongest in the western half of the state in several years. 

USGS reports the quake which struck around 3:30 was centered northeast of Thompson Falls and registered 4.0 magnitude. The quake was also fairly shallow, so it was felt over a widespread area. People in the Lower Clark Fork Valley reported feeling the quake, with additional reports spread all through Mineral and Sanders counties. 

By comparison, most of the quakes in Western Montana in the past three or four years have usually been closer to 3.0

There were no reports of any damage. 


Weekend quake centered near Lincoln

USGS map shows area where quake was most likely felt(BUTTE)- Seismologists say a small earthquake that hit West Central Montana Saturday night was centered just outside of Lincoln. 

USGS reports the quake was a 3.6 magnitude and hit around 10:42 Saturday evening. That makes it one of the strongest quakes in Western Montana in several months. 

The quake's epicenter was 9-miles outside Lincoln, or 32-miles west northwest of Helena. The earthquake was fairly deep, at just over 10-miles below the Earth's surface, so that limited the amount of area where people might have felt the quake. Maps show it would have probably been noticed most in the lightly populated areas immediately north and west of Lincoln.