Strong earthquake rattles, awakens Western Montana

LINCOLN, Mont. — An earthquake strong enough to rouse sleeping residents more than 30 miles from its epicenter struck western Montana early Thursday.

The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude 5.8 earthquake hit just after midnight about 6 miles southeast of Lincoln.

A magnitude 4.5 quake rattled the same general area about a half-hour later.

Residents in Lincoln briefly lost power and there was a gas leak in Helena, the National Weather Service in Great Falls said on Twitter.

The Independent Record reports that people felt the magnitude 5.8 earthquake as far away as Bozeman, Idaho, and Great Falls.

A 76-year-old resident of Helena, which is about 34 miles away from the quake’s epicenter, said it was the strongest seismic activity that he had ever felt.

Ray Anderson said his wife told him the temblor woke up the dogs.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damages.

Musician John Mayer, a part-time Bozeman resident, took to Twitter to marvel at the event.

“Wow,” he wrote on Twitter. “Earthquake in Montana.”

There have been more than 70 quakes measuring larger than 4.5 in Montana and parts of Wyoming and Idaho since 1925, according to the USGS. The largest quake in state history was magnitude 7.2 in 1959 near west Yellowstone.

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