Magnitude 6.5 earthquake in Idaho felt in Canada

Mar 31 2020, 6:07 pm

An exceptionally strong earthquake hit Idaho this afternoon, according to the US Geological Survey.

The magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck at 5:52 pm local time (4:52 pm PT) with an epicentre about 126 km northeast of the state capital city of Boise, near Boise National Park and Yellowstone National Park.

It had an exceptionally shallow depth of only 10 km, which contributed significantly to its force felt widely across much of western North America.

There are numerous reports on social media of people feeling the strength of this earthquake well outside of Idaho, with reports stretching as far as Salt Lake City, Portland, and Seattle, and even in Canada — in Kelowna in British Columbia, and Calgary in Alberta, about 1,000 kms away.

Tom Sampson, the chief of the City of Calgary’s Emergency Management Agency, tweeted that the lights swayed inside the city’s emergency operations centre. Several videos have also emerged of chandeliers swaying in Kelowna.

There are no immediate reports of damage at this time.

This follows the potent magnitude 5.7 earthquake that hit the Salt Lake City region on March 18. The shallow depth of 11.7 km damaged over a hundred historic buildings, caused tens of thousands of power outages, and forced a temporary closure of Salt Lake City International Airport, forcing the diversion of dozens of flights.

This, of course, comes as states of emergencies are declared across much of North America, with physical distancing and self-isolation being practiced to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

Here are some reactions in response to today’s Idaho earthquake: