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Utah Scientists Studying Idaho Quakes

Troy Colson, KTVB

CHALLIS, Idaho (KTVB) — With three earthquakes in less than a week, Challis has experienced an unusual amount of seismic activity, even for a community built near a fault line.

Since March 24, the area in and around Challis has had 21 earthquakes, with the largest one last Saturday, which was a 4.9 magnitude quake. With so many quakes in such a short period, the University of Utah calls the cluster interesting, and sent a crew to the area to study it.  Scientists who study earthquakes say Idaho is earthquake country, and people in Challis know that better than most.

Just to their south is Borah Peak, the site of the largest quake in the state’s history, a 6.9 magnitude in 1983. That quake was the largest in Idaho in the past decade. No damage has been reported from the recent quakes.  The crew from the University of Utah is trying to figure out the best place to put three to five portable seismometers to get a better reading on the quakes.

The team from the University of Utah will be in Challis for the next several weeks trying to figure out the best places to put these seismometers, and then how long those seismometers will be here at this point is unknown.

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