A region in Montana has been experiencing an unusual amount of earthquakes recently. Mike Stickney is the Director of the Earthquake Studies Office at the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology and he says the west edge of Manhattan, Montana is very active. A small earthquake occurred on October 2 in that area, but the shaking didn’t stop there.

“We started seeing additional events at essentially the same location and they have continued now for the last five weeks,” Stickney said. “So far we have recorded and located 79 earthquakes there with magnitudes greater than zero. The largest of which was a magnitude of 3.3 and that occurred on October 16.”

There have been six additional events where the magnitude was in the 2.5 to 2.9 range and residents have reportedly felt all the events with a magnitude 2.5 or higher. Stickney says we can’t predict earthquake activity, but he wouldn’t be surprised to see additional small events.

“It has been more than five days since the last magnitude 2.5 event,” Stickney said. “There is certainly no indication that there is any kind of increase in the trend of activity. I will not be surprised to see additional events there, but we certainly have no indication that this is building up to anything larger.”

Earthquake swarms like this are not uncommon in Montana. According to Stickney, a small swarm occurs at least once a year.

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