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South Idaho earthquake: Magnitude 6.5 quake rocks US state

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An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.5 and a depth of 10km rocked the Southern Idaho region of the US last night.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the earthquake struck just before 6pm on Tuesday evening and it was centred 73 miles northeast of Meridian, near the rural mountain town of Stanley.

More than 2 million people live in the region that could feel the quake, said the USGS with reports of shaking coming in from as far away as Helena, Montana and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Marcus Smith, an emergency room health unit coordinator at St Luke’s Wood River Medical Centre told the Associated Press the earthquake shook the hospital but didn’t interfere with the treatment of any patients.

He said: “It felt like a wave going through the ground, so I knew right away what it was.

“It just felt like waves going through the ground.”

The hospital in Blaine County is on the frontline of Idaho’s coronavirus outbreak, in a region with the nation’s highest per-capita rates of known Covid-19 cases outside of New York City and its surrounding counties.

Mark Nelson, Chief Meterologist for Fox News said the earthquake was the strongest quake to hit the Pacific Northwest in 19 years.

“Only six like this in the last 60 years,” said Mr Nelson on Twitter.

“Luckily it was over sparsely populated Sawtooth Range.”

People took to social media to share clips of their furniture swaying during the quake.

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The news comes after a magnitude 4.2 earthquake rattled Hawaii’s Big Island in February.

It was the third tremor to hit the area in just 10 days and it struck just 20 miles from Hawaiian Beaches.

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