Twitter users have been hitting social media to vent their concerns after a preliminary magnitude 6.5 earthquake was registered on Tuesday night northeast of Boise, Idaho.
Amid the fears generated by the spreading COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, users were sarcastically wondering what else the year 2020 was about to spring on the world as “predictions” of a Yellowstone super-volcano eruption were reignited on social media in the aftermath of the tremors.
“Thank god March is over”— Bradley Berdecia (@thejitterbug759) April 1, 2020
*Yellowstone trending as April starts*
World War III, Coronavirus and now Yellowstone . I just want this year to be over! I’m done with this shit, 2019 wasn’t all too bad to be honest. pic.twitter.com/TdeBvBBUku— 🤦🏾♀️ (@LifeofHamdi) April 1, 2020
january we had world war 3 threats, february and march we have coronavirus, and now Yellowstone is trending on the very beginning of april ... 2020 is the year the world ends bye y'all pic.twitter.com/QUtCR0UYJy— enzo⁷ (@alrightavenue) April 1, 2020
Yellowstone and COVID-19 celebrating the destruction of the world pic.twitter.com/xY2JDO0lM5— kazII 🌜 (@kazii_timeless) April 1, 2020
Always Yellowstone looks like it’s in mood pic.twitter.com/sgzKiGAW7s— doomcastingnukenado (@doomcastingnuk1) April 1, 2020
Other netizens attempted to bring things down a notch, deploring “panic-mongers”.
If it makes you feel any better, you'll probably have better odds playing the lotto than you would for Yellowstone to have a major eruption during our lifetimes!— Jess Phoenix 🌋 (@jessphoenix2018) April 1, 2020
Boise is hundreds of miles away from Yellowstone don't worry.— 🥔 Яiley 🥔 (@Tidmarsh_in_ID) April 1, 2020
While there have been no immediate reports of injuries in the earthquake that struck on Tuesday night, users on social media in several cities reported that they felt the shaking as the US Geological Survey (USGS) says the epicentre of the quake was nearly 45 miles west of the town of Challis and near Beaver Creek along the Salmon River Mountains.
There were reports that the tremor was felt in Coeur d’Alene, Twin Falls and Hailey in Idaho; Spokane, Washington; Missoula and Bozeman, Montana; and Salt Lake City in Utah.
6.5 Idaho earthquake felt in Syracuse Utah. 😬 pic.twitter.com/c2YENXMmad— SarahMarieee (@SarahR98428543) April 1, 2020
Boise Police Department tweeted they had also felt it, while asking everyone to remain safe and calm.
"Stay safe out there Boise. Call us if you need us."
Yep we felt it too. No reports of damage at this time. Stay safe out there Boise. Call us if you need us.— Boise PD (@BoisePD) April 1, 2020
According to the National Weather Service, a 4.6 magnitude earthquake aftershock was reported shortly afterwards in the same area.
Earlier, another earthquake with a magnitude of 2.6 was reported at around 15:36 UTC some nine kilometres northwest of Yellowstone, Montana, according to USGS.gov.
On top of everything else, there was a 6.5 magnitude earthquake near our house in Idaho today, and smaller quakes continue across the Yellowstone/upper mountain west area. pic.twitter.com/hNAGZHnMCL— Molly McKew (@MollyMcKew) April 1, 2020
Weather.com suggested the Idaho quake might have been the second-strongest earthquake in the region on record, while reminding many of the event that was felt on 28 October 1983 and registered at 6.9 magnitude.
Idaho’s most damaging earthquake, in 1983, rocked the town of Challis, according to the Idaho Office of Emergency Management; two schoolchildren died under the rubble of a collapsed building.
The towns of Challis and Mackay took the brunt of the natural calamity at the time, with 11 commercial buildings and 39 private homes sustaining major damage.
While the quake had some on social media posting “apocalyptic” comments and predictions about Yellowstone, according to NPS.gov, the “super-volcano” is seismically active and has about 700 to 3,000 earthquakes annually, with most of them not actually felt.
Yellowstone National Park, located in the western United States, with parts in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, is actually an active super-volcano. Yellowstone has had at least three such eruptions: 2.1 million years ago, 1.2 million years ago and 640,000 years ago.
After the blast, the Yellowstone eruption area collapsed upon itself, creating a caldera 1,500 square miles in area, with the magmatic heat still powering the park’s famous geysers, hot springs, and mud pots. The Yellowstone super-volcano remains an endless source of fascination, generating apocalyptic predictions of the devastation it could potentially wreak.