You might not think of Montana as earthquake country, but the Treasure State was awakened Thursday morning by a tremor strong enough to wake residents who were sleeping a whopping 30 miles away from its epicenter.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake hit minutes after midnight about six miles southeast of Lincoln, a town with 1,100 residents that is approximately 60 miles northwest from the state capital of Helena. The quake originated from a depth of about 3 miles underground, a USGS preliminary report stated.
While there were no immediate reports of injuries, Lincoln residents briefly lost power. The force of the earthquake was also blamed for causing a gas leak in Helena, while residents as far away as Bozeman – 155 miles southeast of Lincoln – and neighboring Idaho claimed that they felt the tremor.
Locals took to Twitter to share tales from their surprising seismic encounter.
“My mom woke up and yelled at me and my dad that there was a bear shaking our trailer,” one person wrote.
“Last night in Montana and we get a 5.8 earthquake near where my parents live. Dog is literally wrapped around my neck,” another person shared.
Lisa Large, a bartender at the Wheel Inn Tavern in Lincoln, claimed that the earthquake sent bottles flying from the shelves and cut off the power, the Independent Record reported.
“It slopped all the grease outta the fryer,” she said. “The kitchen’s a mess right now. The lights have been out and they just came back on. Hopefully we don’t get any more aftershocks.”
Lewis and Clark County Sherif Leo Dutton claimed that the Lincoln fire chief was sending crews out to search for damage, but none had yet been found. Authorities have asked locals to stop calling 911 to report the earthquake unless they are experiencing a bona fide emergency.