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6.5 magnitude earthquake rattles Idaho and 6 surrounding states

KTVB-TV Boise logo KTVB-TV Boise 4/1/2020 Devin Ramey

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At 5:52 p.m. Tuesday, Idaho and states throughout the Northwest were rattled by a 6.5 magnitude earthquake, according to the USGS.

The USGS reports that the epicenter was 45 miles west of Challis and 73.3 miles north of Meridian.

According to the USGS map, the epicenter of the earthquake was next to Shake Creek and Laidlow Creek northwest of Stanley in the north-central Idaho mountains.

The USGS had a delay in reporting the earthquake because of social distancing, according to Paul Bodin, the head of the University of Washington seismology lab, who talked to our sister station in Seattle, KING.


People in six different states reportedly felt the 6.5 magnitude earthquake, according to the USGS's intensity map.

According to National Weather Service Boise, this earthquake was the second strongest earthquake in the world for the last 30 days.

By Wednesday morning at least 45 aftershocks had been registered by the USGS. The largest occurring just after midnight at a 4.6 magnitude.

a close up of a map © Provided by KTVB-TV Boise

"We don't hear that much about Idaho earthquakes because they are fairly unusual," Bodin said. "The last one that was this big was back in 1983. It was in Borah Peak."

The earthquake came less than two weeks after a major quake rattled Utah, Idaho's neighbor to the south. That 5.7-magnitude earthquake struck just outside Salt Lake City, damaging buildings and spurring evacuations.

The USGS said the earthquake's depth was 10 kilometers.

Boise Mayor Lauren McLean tweeted out "Boise, yes you did feel an #earthquake. City officials are checking all our facilities and public safety officers are conducting structural checks downtown and in our neighborhoods."

Dylan Mikesell, an associate geoscience professor at Boise State University said, "For an earthquake of this size, we can expect to feel some aftershocks for the next week and they should taper off. Probably something similar to what Salt Lake is experiencing in terms of aftershocks."

At least eight aftershocks rattled Idaho by Wednesday morning, with 4.6, 3.4, and 3.6-magnitude shocks felt throughout Boise and the Treasure Valley.

KTVB contacted several gas stations in Challis, Stanley, and Cascade and they said there was no severe damage to buildings or property there.

The Boise Police Department tweeted that they have not received any reports of damage.

The Custer County Sheriff's Office told KTVB that they have no reported structural damage at this time.

Officials with St. Luke's said they've completed floor by floor checks of all of their hospitals and gave given the all-clear.

A spokeswoman for Idaho Power said the company has conducted inspections of all its power plants and dams and found no damage to any of them. The earthquake also resulted in no outages.

The USGS said the area of the earthquake is related to a tectonic extension linked to a magnitude 6.9 Borah Peak earthquake in 1983.

This is a developing story and this article will be updated when further information is made available.

Devin Ramey has been a digital producer and reporter for KTVB since 2018 and is a graduate of the Boise State University. You can find him scrolling through memes and the news on Twitter at @KTVBDevin.

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