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New information being learned after March 2020 earthquake

“This was the largest earthquake since 1983.”
Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 3:11 PM MST
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STANLEY, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — On March 31, 2020 the earth started to shake from an earthquake centering in the Challis National Forest. The shaking was felt through much of the state and magnitude 6.5 quake ended up being the second largest in state history.

“This was the largest earthquake since 1983,” said Lee Liberty. “In 1983 we had the Borah Peak earthquake which was a magnitude 6.9. It’s been a number of years since we’ve had a really large quake.”

Liberty along with researches and geologists raced to get instruments in place and learn as much as possible from the fault line and the aftershocks that have continued ever since.

“There is a dual benefit of listening,” said state geologist Claudio Berti. “One is learning more of the direct fault that caused the earthquake, and the other one is learning more on structure that we may not be able to see in any other way.”

The research so far has shined a light on the area’s faults even showing a fault that was thought to be dormant as active once again. Mountain communities were also spared any significant damage as the quake’s epicenter was in a rural area.

“Kind of like real estate, earthquake’s location really matters,” said Liberty.

“It was in an area that was not, it wasn’t able to cause many damages,” said Berti.

The mountains in Idaho were formed by seismic processes and will continue to cause quakes in the future. Since the march earthquake aftershocks have been continued to be felt in surrounding communities and possibly leaving some people concerned.

“I don’t want people in Stanley to have the feeling that they are maybe abandoned by the scientific, by the agency that are supposed to take a look at them. We are taking a look at them,” said Berti.

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