USGS says 9 tremors followed Montana earthquake

It knocked merchandise of the store shelves in Lincoln, Montana.

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

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.

The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude 5.8 earthquake hit at 12:30 a.m. about 6 miles southeast of Lincoln. A magnitude 4.5 quake rattled the same area about five minutes later.

Nine smaller quakes followed, including seven over the next hour.

MORE: Earthquake rocks Montana, Idaho and Washington

The National Weather Service in Great Falls said on Twitter that the shaking was felt as far away as 500 miles.

People felt the earthquake throughout Montana and into Idaho, Washington and Wyoming.

There were no immediate reports of injuries, but food was knocked off the shelves at grocery stores in Lincoln and Helena and it startled patrons at two bars in Lincoln.

Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton says Lincoln lost electricity, but the power has been restored.

A seismologist says it was believed to be the largest earthquake in Montana since October 1964.

© 2017 Associated Press


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