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4.5 Magnitude Earthquake Rattles West Yellowstone, Gardiner

A 4.5 magnitude earthquake hit northwestern Yellowstone National Park yesterday evening.

It’s the largest quake registered in Yellowstone since March 2014, when a 4.8 magnitude earthquake shook West Yellowstone and Gardiner, Montana. Indeed, 2014 saw a host of noticeable earthquake activity around Yellowstone, with swarms rocking Idaho and western Montana.

We say “rocking,” but on the whole they were minor, barely noticed quakes. No reports of damage came after March 2014’s quake, for instance. Earthquakes are a common occurrence in the Greater Yellowstone Area.

According to the Idaho State Journal, the latest Yellowstone quake occurred at 6:48 p.m. Thursday, June 15. The West Yellowstone Police Department reports the quake was felt but no damage was reported.

According to the University of Utah Seismograph Stations, the quake was one of 30 that have trembled through the Greater Yellowstone area since Wednesday.

The last truly major earthquake in the Yellowstone area came in 1959, when a quake centered on Hebgen Lake destroyed roads, created Quake Lake, and killed 28 people.

And for anyone worried: no, this latest quake is not a harbinger for a volcanic eruption out of Yellowstone. It’s fair to say the assessment made by researchers after 2014’s earthquake season still holds up.

About Sean Reichard

Sean Reichard is the editor of Yellowstone Insider and author of Yellowstone Insider For Families 2017.

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