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No, All the Idaho Earthquakes Do NOT Mean a 7.0 Monster Quake is Imminent

University of Utah, Google Maps
University of Utah, Google Maps

It’s a fact that Idaho has had over 200 earthquakes in September alone. It is also true that many are concerned that something bigger is coming. But, the truth is all our quakes do not mean a monster quake is imminent, despite what you may have heard.

Multiple media outlets including KSL (and us) have shared the quakes as reported by the USGS. But, many sites have either exaggerated or misquoted a report from the Idaho State Journal where an Idaho State University professor mentioned that a 7.0 was possible.

Notice how the original story mentions that “experts say it likely won’t happen”. ┬áThen, check out sites like Metro that use that story as their jumping off point, but leave out the last part. They proclaim “7.0 magnitude earthquake could violently shake US at any moment”. That’s how crazy and sensational stuff like this starts spreading.

Let’s remind ourselves again of a sad scientific fact. As of now, we can’t predict earthquakes. Research has been so ineffective that some say that we’ll never be able to accurately warn of imminent earthquakes.

I will add that the number and strength of the earthquakes in Idaho over the last month are very concerning. I would not be surprised if they don’t lead to something bigger. But, if you hear someone claim that a 7.0 or bigger is imminent, they’re either lying or misled.

For now, let’s stick to facts and keep our eyes and ears open as we watch how this develops.

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