USGS: Magnitude 6.5 earthquake strikes north of Boise

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A large earthquake struck north of Boise, Idaho, Tuesday evening, with people across a large area reporting shaking.

The U.S. Geological Survey reports the magnitude 6.5 temblor struck just before 5 p.m. It was centered 73 miles (118 kilometers) northeast of Meridian, Idaho, near the rural mountain town of Stanley.

Marcus Smith, an emergency room health unit coordinator at St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center, said the hospital, about 65 miles (104 kilometers) south of the epicenter, shook but the quake didn’t interfere with the treatment of any patients. The hospital in Blaine County is on the front line of Idaho’s coronavirus outbreak, in a region with the highest per-capita rates of known COVID-19 cases in the nation outside of New York City and surrounding counties.

“It felt like a wave going through the ground, so I knew right away what it was. It just felt like waves going through the ground,” he said.

The earthquake is added stress during an already stressful time for the region, but Smith said everything seemed fine, for now. “Until the next one, I guess,” Smith said. “I mean, that’s what we do. We’re all good.”

Brett Woolley, a restaurant owner in Stanley, said he heard earthquake coming before he felt it.

“I heard the roar, and at first it sounded like the wind but then the roar was tremendous,” Woolley said about 10 minutes after the earthquake. “The whole house was rattling, and I started to panic. I’m sitting here perfectly still and the water next to me is still vibrating.”

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