Lincoln, MT. – An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.8 startled people from their sleep in western Montana early Thursday morning. The earthquake hit just after midnight about 6 miles southeast of Lincoln, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Nine smaller quakes followed, including seven over the next hour. The quake was said to have been felt as far away as Bozeman, Great Falls, and into Idaho.
Residents in Lincoln briefly lost power and there was a gas leak in Helena, MT. There were no reports of injuries.
The quake’s epicenter was some 230 miles from Yellowstone National Park. According to the USGS, there have been more than 70 quakes measuring larger than 4.5 in Montana and parts of Wyoming and Idaho since 1925. Thursday’s earthquake was the strongest to hit western Montana in years, but was significantly weaker than the largest quake in state history, which measured a magnitude 7.2, in 1959 near west Yellowstone.