July 14th, 2024

Hatters shocked by shaking from Montana earthquake

By Collin Gallant on July 6, 2017.

cgallant@medicinehatnews.com @CollinGallant

Was it, or wasn’t it? Couldn’t be? Could it?

Hatters who had an uneasy feeling after midnight on Thursday morning awoke to discover they were likely feeling a magnitude 5.8 earthquake that was centred in western Montana at about 12:30 a.m. MST.

That tremor was followed by seven smaller quakes over the next hour, but the largest could have been felt up to 800 kilometres away, according to U.S. authorities.

Hatter Nick Clements was awake at the time working on his computer in his Crescent Heights home when he suddenly felt light headed and thought he was ill.

“All of a sudden I was really dizzy, like a really slow back and forth,” Clements told the News. “I felt momentum but everything was still. Then I noticed my light swinging a little bit and the windows creaking. I thought, geeze, is this an earthquake.”

There were no reports of any damage locally, but a number of Hatters took to social media asking if anyone else had felt the sensation, wondering if there was live firing at the base.

Hamptons resident Krista Wilde said she had just got into bed at about 12:40 a.m. when she felt uneasy.

“I just turned out the light and felt the bed start to move,” said Wilde. “At first I though it was the dog, but it was across the room, then maybe someone under the bed. It didn’t last long, then I said ‘Holy, I need to get some sleep.’”

The quake was centred in Lincoln, Mont., about halfway between Missoula and Helena, where, the U.S. Geological Survey states, tremors were great enough to wake residents and knock products off store shelves.

The epicentre is about 500 kilometres southwest of Medicine Hat.

The Earthquake Studies Office with the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology in Butte, said the quake was probably the strongest in Montana since October 1964 and was located along the axis of the intermountain seismic belt.

The Associated Press states that there have been more than 70 quakes measuring larger than 4.5 in Montana and parts of Wyoming and Idaho since 1925. The largest quake in Montana history was magnitude 7.2 near West Yellowstone in 1959.

— With Files from the Canadian Press

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