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4.4 and 3.5 magnitude earthquakes reported near Lima

Posted at 4:11 PM, Apr 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-09 15:36:21-04

Two earthquakes were reported near Lima early Tuesday afternoon.

A 4.4 magnitude earthquake was reported at 12:08 p.m. about 3.7 miles northeast of Lima.

It was followed by a 3.5 magnitude earthquake around 12:11 p.m. about seven miles northeast of Lima.

According to the United States Geological Survey, the first earthquake occurred at a depth just over six miles while the second was 6.4 miles beneath the surface.

The strongest earthquake to hit Montana in more than a decade happened near Lincoln in July 2017.

BACKGROUND: According to the USGS, Montana is one of the most seismically active states in the country, although the vast majority of recorded earthquakes are very small, causing no damage and rarely noticed by people. 

Montana is located within the Intermountain Seismic Belt, an active earthquake region stretching along the Rocky Mountains. It is the fourth-most seismically active state, although the vast majority of earthquakes in Montana are too small to be felt.

But there are exceptions. About 90 years ago, a large earthquake hit southwest Montana. The quake damaged a schoolhouse in Three Forks, twisted railroad tracks along the Missouri River, and damaged a jail in White Sulphur Springs. 

Ten years after that another big quake hit Helena, killing two people and causing millions of dollars in damage. It damaged churches, collapsed walls right out of homes, and hit commercial and government buildings as well.