Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Whole Lot of Shaking Going on at Shake Creek
The earthquake’s epicenter was near Blue Bunch Mountain in the Cape Horn/Seafoam area northwest of Stanley.
Wednesday, April 1, 2020


Had it been one day later we would have ascribed it to an April Fool’s Day joke.

First, coronavirus and now an earthquake.As Muffy Ritz noted, "Next the locusts will come."

An earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale caused the Wood River Valley to shudder for a half-minute at about 5:52 p.m. Tuesday.

The quake felt like a dozen milling machines removing and grinding the road surface--with a short pause in between. 

It was enough to make the dog raise her head and eventually retreat under the desk. Which, as it turned out, is where we all should have been during an earthquake.

The earthquake was centered, appropriately enough, on Shake Creek in the Cape Horn area a little northwest of Stanley. Forty-five miles west of Challis, it was six miles deep.

A forecaster with the National Weather Service in Pocatello said he immediately began receiving reports from weather spotters in Rupert and Pocatello. Within a few minutes more there were reports of shaking in Twin Falls, Coeur d’Alene, Bozeman, Mont., and Spokane, Wash., as well. Nevadans felt it. So did Utahns. Even a man from Calgary, Alberta, felt it.

It was followed by a few aftershocks--one 4.6 magnitude.

Hockey star Hilary Knight posted that her Sun Valley home just started shaking naturally: “I thought I overloaded the dryer.”

A woman in Twin Falls--130 miles away--said she could see her house shaking. "Made you queasy" said one man.

The quake was the second strongest in the world in 30 days.

Locally, there were a few reports of chandeliers crashing down. One person reported their chimney had some damage; another reported a cracked floor and window. Boise suffered some gas leaks.

The National Weather Service forecaster said he couldn’t recall any earthquakes in recent memory in Idaho. The last big one was the 6.9 Borah Earthquake in 1983. Two little girls were killed as a building collapsed on them in Challis as they walked to school. Aftershocks were felt for a week.

The last major earthquake in Spokane happened in 2001—a swam of earthquakes with the highest reaching a magnitude of 4. Spokane has a pattern of earthquakes occurring every 20 to 25 years.

On the same day the Shake Creek quake happened, a 2.6 earthquake had rippled through West Yellowstone, Montana at 3:30 p.m. Another struck 37 miles from Big Sky, Mont., at 9:36 a.m.

A 5.7 magnitude earthquake that hit Salt Lake City on March 18 did cause some buildings to crumble and some streets to split. Salt Lake recorded two magnitude 3 earthquakes five days ago on Thursday, March 27.


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