Below is an earlier version of this report.
For a few seconds Thursday evening, the glasses and bottles at the Cabinet Mountain Bar and Grill in Clark Fork, Idaho, began to clink. “It was just a lot of shaking,” said Torrie Straley, a bartender. “The whole entire bar shook.” The restaurant is the only business open late in Clark Fork, and many residents soon began calling to find out what occurred. Some reported to Straley that pictures fell off their walls. It didn’t take long to figure out what happened. The U.S. Geological Survey reported a magnitude 4.1 earthquake at 7:32 p.m. about 14 miles southeast of Sandpoint, east of Lake Pend Oreille, just south of Kilroy Creek. Clark Fork appears to be the closest town to the epicenter. Bonner County received no reports of damage or injuries, said Bob Howard, Bonner County’s Emergency Management director. But the quake was widely felt in the county, and Howard said the emergency manager in Thompson Falls, Mont., noticed the shaking, too. Howard felt the quake in his home in Cocolalla. “I was sitting here and I couldn’t figure out what was going on,” he said. The 911 center was inundated with calls immediately following the quake, he said. “We have earthquake faults in our county, but it’s not prone to earthquakes,” he said. But earthquakes near Sandpoint are not unheard of. A magnitude 5 quake shook the town in 1942. Idaho experienced two of the most destructive quakes in the lower 48 states in the 20th century. According to previous news reports, those were the 1959 Hebgen Lake earthquake, a magnitude 7.5 temblor centered 10 miles across the state line in Montana, and the 1983 Borah Peak quake, magnitude 7.3, which killed two people and caused millions in damage in Challis and Mackay in east-central Idaho. It was $1 beer night Thursday at Eichardt’s Pub in downtown Sandpoint. So the bar was pretty full when the quake struck. But struck might be a pretty strong word. “The bar stool jiggled,” said Joshua Burt, whose friend quickly pulled out a cellphone and pinpointed the earthquake’s data on the U.S. Geological Survey’s website. “We were one of 26 earthquakes in the world,” he said noting the day’s count at that point. “We felt pretty privileged to be part of it.”
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