A 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck western Montana a little after midnight Thursday.
The early morning quake was felt across hundreds of miles from eastern Washington to western Montana to Idaho. According to the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquake’s epicenter was around six miles southeast of Lincoln, Montana and about eight miles underground.
The National Weather Service reported a brief loss of power in Lincoln and a gas leak in Helena. Many 911 centers received floods of calls, but there have been no reports of significant damage or injuries.
This latest seismic event in Montana is the first of its size in a dozen years. The last earthquake similar in magnitude happened in Dillon, Montana in 2005. Since 1925, the USGS says Montana has experienced around 70 quakes with a 4.5 magnitude or larger. The largest earthquake to ever hit Big Sky Country was a 7.2 temblor in August of 1959 near Yellowstone.
Montana Public Radio reports aftershocks are still being felt throughout the western part of the state. Given the shallow depth of this morning’s quake, small tremors are expected to continue for weeks.
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