When someone describes Montana, we normally hear of the beauty, the wildlife, the open space, the "Big Sky", and the people. One thing that you don't normally hear about the state are the amount of earthquakes that we have.

Montana's Biggest Earthquake

Make no mistake, parts of Montana are in a very active zone for earthquakes. The largest earthquake ever recorded in Montana had devastating results. The "Hebgen Lake Earthquake" earthquake happened on August 17, 1959. The earthquake occurred by the Madison river, northwest of Yellowstone National Park. The earthquake caused an 80 million ton landslide that killed 28 people and blocked the river creating Quake Lake. Initial reports registered the earthquake at a 7.5 magnitude on the Richter Scale. According to Wikipedia.org, it was revised by the USGS to a 7.3 on the Richter Scale. At the time this earthquake was the second largest to occur in the continental U.S. in the 20th century. To date this is also the largest and most deadly earthquake in Montana history.

Hebgen Lake Earthquake Montana
Credit: Canva

There Hasn't Been Only One Deadly Earthquake in Montana

The Hebgen Lake Earthquake wasn't the only deadly quake in Montana. The "1935 Helena Earthquake" took place on October 18th,1935 with a 6.2 surface magnitude on the Richter Scale with aftershocks that took place on October 31st that same year. Four people died in total between both the initial earthquake and the aftershocks. There is one area in particular where you don't want to to be when a big earthquake hits Montana.

Related: Don't Be Here During a Powerful Montana Quake

Montana Has Had Quite a Few Big Earthquakes

According to Earthquaketrack.com, Montana has had multiple earthquakes that have rated higher than 5.5 on the Richter Scale. There was one recorded near Townsend, Montana in 1925 with at 6.9 magnitude. Two earthquakes happened in 1959 in West Yellowstone, one ranking as a 6.3 and one 6.0 magnitude.

I have been to Quake Lake in Montana and it was one of those places that made me just want to leave as soon as I got there.

Montana's Top 10 Record-Setting Wild Weather Events

Montana is named Big Sky Country for several reasons, not only grandiose Sunsets but impressive weather events as well! Ask any Montana resident who has scoffed at the idea of tossing a blanket or snow shovel in the trunk of the car ” just in case”. Here is a list of Montana's Top 10 Record-Setting Wild Weather Events

Gallery Credit: Brian Lee

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