Rare quake rattles western US state of Montana


July 7, 2017
(AFP) - A rare earthquake with a magnitude 5.8 rattled the western US state of Montana Thursday and was felt as far away as Canada, the US Geological Survey said.

The tremor, the strongest to hit western Montana since 1959, struck at 12:30 am local time, startling many people as they slept.

The USGS said the shallow quake's epicenter was southeast of the town of Lincoln and the temblor was felt in neighboring states as well as Calgary, Canada.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The quake struck in an area with a fault known as the Lewis and Clark line, a zone that extends for about 250 miles (400 kilometers) from northern Idaho to east of Helena, Montana.

The USGS said the tremor was followed by a series of aftershocks, two of which measured 3.9 and 4.4.

"I was awake here in Bozeman, sitting at my desk, when it happened; it felt like I was on a boat in choppy seas, and all the birds in my neighborhood simultaneously made a ruckus and flew away," Montana resident David Buckingham told local radio.

The largest quake on record in western Montana struck in August 1959 and measured 7.2.

The so-called Hebgen Lake quake triggered a major landslide that killed 28 people and caused significant damage.