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6.5 magnitude quake rattles Idaho, western Montana; shakes nerves amid pandemic

(KPAX graphic)

An earthquake shook Missoula and much of western Montana on Tuesday night.

The U.S. Geological Survey recorded the quake at 5:52 p.m. and placed its epicenter in Challis, Idaho. It listed the event as a 6.5 magnitude quake and placed it 10 kilometers deep.

The movement was felt across western Montana, including Missoula, where windows and doors shook. Residents in the Bitterroot Valley reported feeling it as well, with some saying it moved furniture.

No reports of damage were immediately reported in Montana, though Internet service lagged after the event.

The last significant temblor recorded in the Northern Rockies occurred near Lincoln in July 2017. That event registered 5.8 and struck at a depth of three miles and was located roughly 80 miles east of Missoula.

It was at the time the largest earthquake in more than 50 years in Montana, and seismic meters registered about 1,500 smaller quakes in the same area.

Comments rolled in on social media Tuesday night from across the region – from Spokane to Boise and all points in between. More than a dozen aftershocks had been recorded by USGS in the hours immediately following the event, the largest being a 4.6 magnitude quake in Cascade, Idaho.