Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Idaho Rattled by Biggest Earthquake in 37 Years

Popular
A USGS map showing the location of a 6.5 magnitude quake that shook Idaho Tuesday evening. USGS

Idaho residents were rattled Tuesday evening by the biggest earthquake to shake the state in almost 40 years.


The 6.5 magnitude quake struck just before 6 p.m. local time 73 miles northeast of Meridian, The Associated Press reported. It caused no known damage or injuries, but plenty of surprise.

"At first I thought it was thunder, weird thunder, but then the house was moving and I realized this is an earthquake — a really big earthquake," Boise resident Melissa Hawkins, 44, told USA Today.

All told, more than two million people might have felt the earthquake, according to U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) figures reported by The Associated Press. Reports of shaking came from as far as Spokane, Washington; Bozeman, Montana; and Salt Lake City, Utah, according to USA Today.

Evaro, Montana resident Shannon Patton at first blamed her health.

"I actually thought I was having a dizzy spell to begin with due to my migraine," Patton told USA Today in an email. "Our light fixtures were shaking and one of our signs on our pantry door almost fell off."

Despite tweets warning of the apocalypse, Caltech seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones told The Associated Press that the Idaho region has an earthquake around this size every 30 to 40 years.

The last was actually much worse: the 6.9 Borah Peak earthquake of 1983. That quake struck near the town of Challis and killed two school children when they were buried under rubble, CNN reported. It also cost the state $12.5 million in property damage.

The 1983 quake was along a "normal fault," which causes vertical movement, Jones told The Associated Press. Tuesday's quake, on the other hand, was on an unmapped "strike-slip fault," which causes horizontal movement. Jones said it was not uncommon for faults in remote areas to go unmapped, since they are less likely to cause damage.

"This is one that wasn't obvious enough to be mapped before now," Jones told The Associated Press.

But she further explained on Twitter why Idaho sees earthquakes.

"Idaho is part of the Basin and Range tectonic province. Everything west of the Wasatch Mtns. is getting slowly stretched out as a bit of North America tries to cling to the Pacific plate," she wrote.

Jones said to expect aftershocks, and the USGS reported a 4.8 magnitude one about an hour after, according to USA Today. More, smaller tremors were felt throughout the evening.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Mourners after a mass burial of coronavirus victims in Brazil, which now has the world's second largest outbreak after the U.S. Andre Coelho / Getty Images

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases passed six million Sunday, even as many countries begin to emerge from strict lockdowns.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Daniel Yetman

Bleach and vinegar are common household cleaners used to disinfect surfaces, cut through grime, and get rid of stains. Even though many people have both these cleaners in their homes, mixing them together is potentially dangerous and should be avoided.

Read More Show Less
During a protest action on May 30 in North Rhine-Westphalia, Datteln in front of the site of the Datteln 4 coal-fired power plant, Greenpeace activists projected the lettering: "Climate crisis - Made in Germany" onto the cooling tower. Guido Kirchner / picture alliance / Getty Images

Around 500 climate activists on Saturday gathered outside the new Datteln 4 coal power plant in Germany's Ruhr region, to protest against its opening.

Read More Show Less
Dr. Mark Brunswick (2R), Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality, walks through the lab at Sorrento Therapeutics in San Diego, California on May 22. ARIANA DREHSLER / AFP / Getty Images

By Julia Ries

Around the world, there have been several cases of people recovering from COVID-19 only to later test positive again and appear to have another infection.

Read More Show Less

By Samantha Hepburn

In the expansion of its iron ore mine in Western Pilbara, Rio Tinto blasted the Juukan Gorge 1 and 2 — Aboriginal rock shelters dating back 46,000 years. These sites had deep historical and cultural significance.

Read More Show Less
Meadow Lake wind farm in Indiana. Anthony / CC BY-ND 2.0

By Tara Lohan

The first official tallies are in: Coronavirus-related shutdowns helped slash daily global emissions of carbon dioxide by 14 percent in April. But the drop won't last, and experts estimate that annual emissions of the greenhouse gas are likely to fall only about 7 percent this year.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Andrey Nikitin / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Adrienne Santos-Longhurst

Plants are awesome. They brighten up your space and give you a living thing you can talk to when there are no humans in sight.

Turns out, having enough of the right plants can also add moisture (aka humidify) indoor air, which can have a ton of health benefits.

Read More Show Less