NewsMontana News


Another small earthquake rattles Manhattan and beyond

A magnitude 4.2 magnitude earthquake struck at 6:02 p.m.
Posted at 9:24 AM, Aug 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-16 15:49:25-04

A magnitude 4.2 earthquake rattled Manhattan at 6:02 p.m. on Thursday.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the small quake was centered about 2.4 miles northwest of the town, and was recorded at a depth of about 4.7 miles.

Hundreds of people reported feeling the quake; responses on the USGS website came from people in Manhattan, Belgrade, Bozeman, Ennis, Townsend, and Radersburg, and at least one person in Great Falls claims to have felt it. (UPDATE: several other Great Falls residents have also reported feeling it).

A second smaller quake of magnitude 3.3 also shook the area on Thursday evening.

There have been no reports of serious damage or injuries.

This continues a series of small earthquakes reported in the area over the past few months.

According to Montana Tech seismologist Mike Stickney, earthquake happen in the Treasure State more often than you might think.

“Montana sees earthquakes on a frequent basis because we are along something called the Intermountain Seismic Belt,” Stickney said.

This belt extends from northwest Montana through Yellowstone National Park into southwest Montana, and small quakes are common within its reach.

Larger ones are very rare, but they do happen, such as the deadly Hebgen Lake Quake in 1959, which registered 7.2 on the Richter scale and killed at least 28 people.

In 2017, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck near Lincoln in Lewis & Clark County. It was the most powerful quake was the largest to hit Montana in several decades.