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Over 50 earthquakes shake east Idaho in less than 24 hours


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SODA SPRINGS — Over 50 earthquakes have rocked east Idaho in less than 24 hours with folks feeling the effects from northern Utah to Idaho Falls.

The 52 quakes all occurred in Caribou County with the first happening around 6 p.m. Saturday. That earthquake was the largest – registering 5.3 on the Richter scale. The other earthquakes have measured between 2.7 and 4.5.

The earthquakes continued through the evening and into Sunday afternoon, with the USGS reporting a 4.5 magnitude quake occurring around 11:40 a.m. with the epicenter eight miles east of Soda Springs.


Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen, who has lived in east Idaho for over 40 years, told The Idaho State Journal that having this many earthquakes in such a short time is “unprecented.”

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Nielsen said. “My wife asked if we should leave the house.”

No injuries or major damage to structures have been reported although several residents near Soda Springs told that items fell from shelves and they witnessed their homes shaking.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued the following guidelines on what you can do before, during and after an earthquake:


– Before an earthquake occurs, secure items that could fall or move and cause injuries or damage (e.g., bookshelves, mirrors, light fixtures, televisions, computers, hot water heaters. Move beds away from windows and secure any hanging items over beds, couches, cribs or other places people sit or lie.

– Practice how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On!”

– Plan and practice how to Drop to the ground, Cover your head and neck with your arms, and if a safer place is nearby that you can get to without exposing yourself to flying debris, crawl to it and Hold On to maintain cover.

– Store critical supplies (e.g., water, medication) and documents.

– Plan how you will communicate with family members, including multiple methods by making a family emergency communication plan.

– Consult a structural engineer to evaluate your home and ask about updates to strengthen areas that would be weak during an earthquake.When choosing your home or business to rent or buy, check if the building is earthquake resistant per local building codes.


If you are inside a building:

– Drop down onto your hands and knees so the earthquake doesn’t knock you down. Drop to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!)

– Cover your head and neck with your arms to protect yourself from falling debris.

– If you are in danger from falling objects, and you can move safely, crawl for additional cover under a sturdy desk or table.

– If no sturdy shelter is nearby, crawl away from windows, next to an interior wall.Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as light fixtures or furniture.

– Hold on to any sturdy covering so you can move with it until the shaking stops.

– Stay where you are until the shaking stops. Do not run outside. Do not get in a doorway as this does not provide protection from falling or flying objects, and you may not be able to remain standing.

– If getting safely to the floor to take cover won’t be possible:

– If getting safely to the floor will be difficult, actions before an earthquake to secure or remove items that can fall or become projectiles should be a priority to create spaces.

– If you are in bed: Stay there and Cover your head and neck with a pillow. At night, hazards and debris are difficult to see and avoid; attempts to move in the dark result in more injuries than remaining in bed.

– If you are outdoors when the shaking starts, move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires. Once in the open, “Drop, Cover, and Hold On.” Stay there until the shaking stops.

– It is difficult to control a vehicle during the shaking. If you are in a moving vehicle, stop as quickly and safely as possible and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires. Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that the earthquake may have damaged.


– When the shaking stops, look around. If the building is damaged and there is a clear path to safety, leave the building and go to an open space away from damaged areas.

– If you are trapped, do not move about or kick up dust.

– If you have a cell phone with you, use it to call or text for help.

– Tap on a pipe or wall or use a whistle, if you have one, so that rescuers can locate you.

– Once safe, monitor local news reports via battery operated radio, TV, social media, and cell phone text alerts for emergency information and instructions.

– Check for injuries and provide assistance if you have training. Assist with rescues if you can do so safely.

– Use extreme caution during post-disaster clean-up of buildings and around debris. Do not attempt to remove heavy debris by yourself. Wear protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, work gloves, and sturdy, thick-soled shoes during clean-up.

– Be prepared to “Drop, Cover, and Hold on” in the likely event of aftershocks.