Earthquake Shakes Montana

Jul 6, 2017

Credit USGS

An earthquake shook some Montanans awake shortly after midnight Thursday.

The Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s office says no damage or injuries have been reported.

Scientists say the epicenter was about six miles south-east of Lincoln.

"The magnitude on the quake was a magnitude 5.8, and it occurred at a depth of about 13 kilometers, which is about 13 miles," said Randy Baldwin, geophysicist with the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado.

Baldwin said  in the last 100 years, there have been 16 earthquakes of magnitude five or greater within a 300 kilometer radius of today’s quake. He said there were at least a dozen aftershocks of magnitude 3.5 or greater, and that there may be more to come.

"When you get a quake of 5.8 that’s shallow like this, you can usually expect aftershocks for a period of weeks," he said. "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."

Baldwin says it does not appear that the quake outside Lincoln was related to the recent swarm of earthquakes that’s been reported north of the town of West Yellowstone.