5.3 quake in Idaho followed by swarm of more than 100 smaller quakes

  • Four separate earthquakes in southeastern Idaho
  • Largest a 5.3 (per USGS) 11 miles east of Soda Springs
  • 5.3 quake followed swarm of more than 100 smaller quakes
  • Unusual in magnitude and frequency of quakes

SODA SPRINGS, Idaho — The USGS reported four separate quakes Saturday evening, in an area about 63 miles from Pocatello and 130 miles from Salt Lake City. The largest quake, a 5.3, struck just before 6 p.m. local time, and rumbled through southeastern Idaho. The epicenter was 11 miles east of Soda Springs, Idaho, but was also felt in Wyoming and across northern Utah in Logan, Ogden, Salt Lake City, Draper and Provo.

Officials say 17,000 people reported feeling the 5.3 quake from as far away as Salt Lake City, Utah.

Soda Springs resident JoAnna Ashley was in nearby Georgetown visiting her parents when the largest quake hit. She grabbed onto the shaking refrigerator and watched as a bottle of tiki torch fuel perched on top wobbled toward the edge. Her kids, ages 5 and 8, grabbed onto Ashley during the shaking.

“They didn’t scream, but were all, ‘Momma, what’s happening?’ in that worried voice,” Ashley said.

Ashley has experienced other earthquake swarms in the region, but she said the current one is unusual because of the magnitude and frequency of temblors.

A swarm of more than 100 smaller quakes have rattled southeastern Idaho since the 5.3 earthquake hit.

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