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Small earthquake caused some damage in Marysville area - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

Small earthquake caused some damage in Marysville area

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Some people in the Marysville area northwest of Helena said Monday evening's small earthquake caused some minor damage to homes and structures. Some people in the Marysville area northwest of Helena said Monday evening's small earthquake caused some minor damage to homes and structures.
The epicenter was a few miles northeast of the Marysville area. The epicenter was a few miles northeast of the Marysville area.
Residents were worried about damage they had seen to some of the historic structures in Marysville. Residents were worried about damage they had seen to some of the historic structures in Marysville.
MARYSVILLE -

Some people in the Marysville area northwest of Helena said Monday evening's small earthquake caused some minor damage to homes and structures.

The U.S. Geological Survey says that the 3.4 magnitude quake happened at a depth of about 6.6 miles, and happened at 7:26 p.m.

The USGS website reports that people felt the quake in and around Helena and Canyon Creek, and even one person reported feeling it as far away as Great Falls. 

The epicenter was a few miles northeast of the Marysville area.

On Tuesday morning, residents showed MTN broken plaster and cracked windows they said was the result of the quake. Others said their foundations had been damaged.

Even though the earthquake was relatively small, residents said they felt lucky that there wasn’t more damage to some of the century-old homes.

Harry McVee and Vince Moravek said they had never experienced something like this in the small community.

McVee said, “It had me rolling around here. Cracked my windows and plaster in my bedroom. At first I thought somebody detonated the mine over there; they had a big blast and did it. But this one was a sharp, real sharp one.”

Moravek noted, “When it hit I thought literally the house was levitated a few inches off its foundation and slammed back down. It’s one of the most powerful hits that I have ever experienced.”

Residents were worried about damage they had seen to some of the historic structures in Marysville.

They said until the snow melts it’s hard to tell if the buildings sustained any serious damage.


(MARCH 6, 2017) A small earthquake shook an area just northwest of Helena on Monday evening.

There have been no reported injuries or damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey says that the 3.4 magnitude quake happened at a depth of about 6.6 miles, and happened at 7:26 p.m.

The USGS website reports that people felt the quake in and around Helena and Canyon Creek, and even one person reported feeling it as far away as Great Falls.

Here are some responses posted on Facebook:

  • Maureen Rude: We thought a big truck was coming near our house and the dog barked, bet that was it! We are on the other side of the scratchgravels.
  • Michele McAlister: Felt it in the North Valley! (North of Lincoln Rd.)
  • Brandi Carson: Felt it by Lincoln road and the dogs were barking. Knocked my razor off the wall.
  • Stephanie Witham: Felt it up north of Lake Helena.
  • Maureen Batey: Felt it. 4 miles north of Capital High.
  • Jennifer Dewey: Whole house shook in Skelly Gulch area

According to the USGS, Montana is one of the most seismically-active states in the country, although the vast majority of recorded earthquakes are very small, causing no damage and rarely noticed by people. 

Montana is located within the Intermountain Seismic Belt, an active earthquake region stretching along the Rocky Mountains. It is the fourth-most seismically active state, although the vast majority of earthquakes in Montana are too small to be felt.

But there are exceptions. About 90 years ago, a large earthquake hit southwest Montana. The quake damaged a school house in Three Forks, twisted railroad tracks along the Missouri River, and damaged a jail in White Sulphur Springs. 

Ten years after that another big quake hit Helena, killing two people and causing millions of dollars in damage. It damaged churches, collapsed walls right out of homes, and hit commercial and government buildings as well.

There was also the deadly 1959 earthquake that created "Quake Lake" and shook West Yellowstone. It claimed the lives of 28 people and did the equivalent of $89 million in damage. 

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