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Montana Earthquake With 5.8 Magnitude Surprises Residents

Image: Montana Earthquake With 5.8 Magnitude Surprises Residents

A map shows seismic activity around the site of a 5.8 magnitude earthquake that struck in western Montana early Thursday. (U.S. Geological Survey)

By    |   Thursday, 06 Jul 2017 12:40 PM

A Montana earthquake registering a magnitude 5.8 early Thursday morning caught residents by surprise as they slept.

The earthquake, with an epicenter six miles southeast of Lincoln, Montana, occurred about 12:30 a.m., Randy Baldwin, with the National Earthquake Information Center in Boulder, Colorado, said, according to Montana Public Radio.

Baldwin told the broadcaster that there have been 16 earthquakes of magnitude 5 or greater within a 300-kilometer radius from the epicenter in the last 100 years.

"When you get a quake of 5.8 that's shallow like this, you can usually expect aftershocks for a period of weeks," Baldwin told Montana Public Radio. "That will probably go on for some time. There’s always a chance you could get one of equal or ever larger size, but as a general rule, the aftershocks decrease with magnitude over a period of time."

The United States Geological Survey reported nine additional tremors in about the same area within an hour after the additional earthquake, registering from 4.9 to 3.1, according to the Helena Independent Record.

Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton said Lincoln lost electricity because of the quake, but the power was restored. The National Weather Service also reported a gas leak in Helena, the Independent Record said.

Lisa Large, a bartender at the Wheel Inn Tavern in Lincoln, told the Missoulian that the power was cut off and bottles flew off the shelves when the earthquake hit.

"It slopped all the grease outta the fryer," Large told the newspaper. "The kitchen's a mess right now. The lights have been out and they just came back on. Hopefully we don't get any more aftershocks."

Dave Eplin, from Deer Lodge, told The Montana Standard that the earthquake left him and his wife confused.

"I was lying in bed with my wife reading and all of a sudden the whole house shook," Eplin told the newspaper. "At first I thought it was the wind, but it wasn't the wind. I've checked to see if my pilot lights were still on and they are."

Many went on social media to talk about the earthquake.

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A Montana earthquake registering a magnitude 5.8 early Thursday morning caught residents by surprise as they slept.
montana, earthquake, lincoln
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2017-40-06
Thursday, 06 Jul 2017 12:40 PM
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