No Injuries in Idaho Quake-Triggered Rock Slides

January 5, 2015

A 4.9 magnitude earthquake in a remote Idaho county triggered rock slides that blocked some road lanes Saturday but did not cause any major damage or injuries.

Hours later around midnight, quakes of magnitude 4.0 and 3.6 struck in the same area, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The quakes followed a 3.7-magnitude temblor that also occurred near the Custer County area on Dec. 22 and numerous smaller recent quakes, according to the USGS website.

Linda Lumpkin, a dispatcher for the sheriff’s office told The Associated Press that everyone there felt the 4.9 quake, but there were no reports of damage. The earthquake was recorded at 10:44 a.m. Saturday and was centered about 4 miles east of Challis, a small town of about 1,000 in the center of the state surrounded by U.S. National Forest land.

The Missoulian reported that rumblings were felt in southwestern Montana’s Bitterroot Valley.

Rock slides blocked lanes on several roads, Lumpkin said. Sheriff’s deputies went out to direct traffic as the transportation department began cleanup.

Melissa Rosales, a waitress at the Challis Village Inn Motel and Restaurant, said the shaking did not cause any damage there.

“We had a lot of shaking of pots and pans, but they’re up on hooks so they didn’t go anywhere,” she said.

Mike Clifford, a manager at the Village Square True Value in Challis, said a few items fell off the shelves “but no big messes.”

“It lasted about 10 seconds,” he said.

Clifford said the region has experienced a number of earthquakes in the last few weeks, but nothing major.

“The ground’s been rattling,” he said.

Idaho’s largest recorded earthquake was recorded in the area. The 6.9-magnitude quake hit in 1983 near 12,667-foot Borah Peak, Idaho’s tallest peak.

Also on Saturday, a 3.3-magnitude earthquake hit Mendocino County in northern California, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The epicenter of the quake, which struck at 6:44 a.m., was about 8 miles north of Laytonville, California, the agency said.

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