It’s rare but it happens…Idaho was rattled by a magnitude 6.5 earthquake yesterday that was felt by 6 surrounding states. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is warning that hundreds of aftershocks are possible, some of which could even be larger than the original quake.

6.5 magnitude earthquake strikes Idaho and 6 other states

On Tuesday at 5:52 PM, Idaho and at least 6 other states in the Northwest felt the 6.5 magnitude earthquake.

The epicenter was 45 miles west of Challis and 73.3 miles north of Meridian, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), which puts it next to Shake Creek and Laidlow Creek in the north-central Idaho mountains.

People in six surrounding states reported feeling the temblor. The USGS confirmed via its intensity map that six surrounding states felt the quake, including Washington, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada.

NWS: “Be ready for more earthquakes”

The National Weather Service posted a warning on its website on Tuesday night which read: “Be ready for more earthquakes.”

Officials said there is a small chance that an aftershock could occur that is even larger than Tuesday’s earthquake. Already, there have been aftershocks of magnitude 4.6, 3.6, and 3.4 throughout Boise and the Treasure Valley.

Any Idaho earthquake is a rare event

All in all, earthquakes in Idaho are very unusual.

The last time Idaho had a big earthquake near this magnitude was in Borah Peak in 1983.

Strongest earthquake in the world in the last 30 days

According to the office of the National Weather Service (NWS) in Boise, the 6.5 magnitude earthquake was the strongest earthquake to occur anywhere in the world within the last 30 days.

The earthquake comes only two weeks after another major earthquake rattled the neighboring state of Utah with a 5.7 magnitude just outside of Salt Lake City.

The Utah quake damaged several buildings and prompted evacuations.

If you live in the west: Be prepared

Officials are reminding people who live anywhere in the west to be prepared for earthquakes.

In the last two weeks earthquakes have struck Idaho and Utah, and could occur in any western state as well.

Put together an earthquake preparedness kit

Government officials advise people to make and earthquake preparedness supply kit.

  • At a bare minimum, your kit should contain enough food and water to last at least three days. A large backpack or two are ideal for holding the items in your kit since they can be worn hands-free, but other types of lightweight carrying bag can also be an excellent container for your kit.
  • You should have a flashlight, fire extinguisher, and a whistle. A battery-powered weather radio or hand-crank radio is also important to receive weather updates and warnings.
  • You should have a family communications plan, and have worked out some way of communicating with other people, preferably a cell phone. Right now is a good time to find a cellular phone deal. Make sure your communications plan includes an out-of-state contact plan, as well as a designated place to meet if you and anyone in your family gets separated.
  • Make sure you have extra batteries for your flashlight and charging devices for your cell phone and other critical equipment.
  • Make sure to have a first aid kit and any critical medications you or anyone in your family requires.
  • Don’t forget the needs of your pets and service animals, and make sure you also have a three day supply for them.