The residents of Lincoln and Helena, Montana, were awakened just past midnight when a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck just six miles southeast of the former. According to the Associated Press, people as far away as Bozeman and Great Falls, Montana, as well as parts of Idaho also felt latent tremors from the occurrence early Thursday morning. Neither the AP nor the local Independent Record reported any major injuries or damage, though Helana suffered a gas leak and Lincoln briefly lost power.
Both news outlets spoke with locals about the earthquake to gauge their reactions, but the presence of musician and part-time Montana resident John Mayer helped get the item trending on social media.
Then again, the quake’s proximity to the Yellowstone Caldera in Yellowstone National Park — which just so happens to be the site of a dormant supervolcano — also caught people’s attention. Scientists determined three massive eruptions have occurred in Yellowstone during the past 2.1 million years, with the most recent happening around 630,000 years ago. And while disaster films like 2012, occasional Discovery channel specials and doomsday preppers love to chat incessantly about when the next eruption will occur, observers recently confirmed the caldera was hit by 450 minor earthquakes in one week.