Idaho Experiences Shocking Number of Autumn Earthquakes

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: copyright Jeff Miller

In just one month, residents in Idaho have experienced eight earthquakes with a magnitude of 2.5 or higher. In addition, all eight of the earthquakes were in the central part of the state in the Sawtooth or Salmon River mountain areas of Idaho.

According to Denise Kern, who is Idaho’s Public Health Preparedness and Response Section manager, most of the state’s seismic activity consists of aftershocks. These aftershocks came following the magnitude 6.5 earthquake that rocked the Stanley area on March 31, 2020.

Per reports from the U.S. Geological Survey, the phenomenon of aftershocks are more minor earthquakes that occur afterward in the same location as the mainshock. Depending on the size of the mainshock, these aftershocks can last for weeks, months, and sometimes even years following the initial earthquake.

As a result of the activity, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has released tips to help residents prepare for an emergency should another quake hit the state.

Firstly, state officials urge residents to create an emergency plan. A plan should detail how they will obtain the five necessities that humans need to survive. These include water, food, energy, shelter, and security.

Next, the agency advises that people prepare essential documents and set them aside before evacuating. Necessary documents include medication lists, marriage certificates, birth certificates, and medical insurance information. In addition to collecting the necessities, they encourage people to create a plan that focuses on the best way to get to safety.

California creates earthquake simulator to better prepare residents

While quakes can be terrifying, California is taking steps to prepare its residents as best as possible. The California Office of Emergency Services recently created its earthquake simulator as part of its “Great California Shakeout Tour 2022” initiative.

The simulator allows Californians to experience a real-life sense of what an earthquake feels like. The simulator’s intensity mimics quakes ranging from magnitudes 3.0 to 7.0.

“The first step? Survive the earthquake itself,” said Lori Nezhura, the deputy director of planning, preparedness, and prevention for Cal OES.

According to Nezhura, most people in the southern part of the state have not experienced a quake that intense.

Earthquake Warning California is the U.S.’ first publicly available statewide warning system. This program could give residents vital seconds to take cover before they start to feel the earthquake.

The system also uses ground motion sensors from across the state to detect earthquakes before you can feel them.

“It was a little more jolty than I thought,” said Diane Valero, who recently tried out the simulator in L.A. “It was a little stronger than I thought.” While we can’t predict the precise timing of the next big earthquake, we know it will inevitably happen.