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Twin Falls Risk of a Big Earthquake is Probably Bigger Than You Think

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Curiosity killed the cat, or so I’m told. I don’t know about the cat, but curiosity led me to research the real risk of a major earthquake in the Magic Valley. What I found is not comforting.

I don’t want to be sensational or infer that what I found is imminent or even likely. In our lifetime, we may never see any type of major seismic activity. But, it would be wise to know what’s possible.

I have learned to never trust just one website when I’m looking for facts or scenarios. For this, I found several sites and they all come to the same conclusion. Twin Falls is earthquake country and it’s very possible we could see a major earthquake at some point.

Home Sites has some good news and bad news, too. On the good side, Twin Falls has not had a measurable earthquake that was centered here since 1931, although Idaho has had over 1,900 in total. But, we are in a moderate area for a quake greater than 5.0 on the Richter Scale. In fact, we’re listed as having a 10.35% chance of a greater than 5.0 quake in the next 50 years. That’s higher than I would prefer.

If you check the state of Idaho site, they also have some graphics that show earthquake danger in our state. Of note, the mega-red Borah Peak region that hosted the largest quake in our history back in 1983 and the area close to Yellowstone. (Hello, super-volcano!)

The Idaho Geological Survey shows the more notable quakes in our state including a couple near the Magic Valley.

But, if you’re looking to the future, what better organization to trust for earthquake likelihood than the USGS? If you check their map, you’ll also notice that we’re in the 10% area for a 5.0 or greater quake in the next 50 years.

What do to? Authorities can’t accurately predict earthquakes yet. But, know that you live somewhere that is earthquake active and can have this happen. The USGS has some good guides for preparedness for all of us that live in earthquake country. Yes, that is us.

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