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

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
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
A bald eagle chick inside a nest in Rutland, Massachusetts. Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
A bald eagle nest with eggs has been discovered in Cape Cod for the first time in 115 years, according to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (Mass Wildlife), as Newsweek reported.
Read More Show Less
The office of Rover.com sits empty with employees working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 12 in Seattle, Washington. John Moore / Getty Images

The office may never look the same again. And the investment it will take to protect employees may force many companies to go completely remote. That's after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new recommendations for how workers can return to the office safely.

Read More Show Less
Frederic Edwin Church's The Icebergs reveal their danger as a crush vessel is in the foreground of an iceberg strewn sea, 1860. Buyenlarge / Getty Images

Scientists and art historians are studying art for signs of climate change and to better understand the ways Western culture's relationship to nature has been altered by it, according to the BBC.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Esben Østergaard, co-founder of Lifeline Robotics and Universal Robots, takes a swab in the World's First Automatic Swab Robot, developed with Thiusius Rajeeth Savarimuthu, professor at the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute at The University of Southern Denmark. The University of Southern Denmark

By Richard Connor

The University of Southern Denmark on Wednesday announced that its researchers have developed the world's first fully automatic robot capable of carrying out throat swabs for COVID-19.

Read More Show Less