Earthquake, aftershocks hit rural southwestern Montana

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HELENA, Mont. (AP) - An earthquake and aftershocks have struck near the Idaho-Montana border. No damage was immediately reported.

U.S. Geological Survey research geophysicist William Yeck says the quake struck just after noon Tuesday 4 miles (7 kilometers) northeast of Lima, Montana, and had a preliminary magnitude of 4.4.

Yeck says an earthquake that size typically does not cause anything other than slight damage.

That main shock was followed by a series of aftershocks, including a preliminary magnitude-3.5 quake.

Mike Stickney is the director of earthquake studies at the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology. He says he recorded about a dozen aftershocks within 90 minutes of the main earthquake, and they are likely to continue over the next several days.

Stickney says the activity is happening along a seismic belt stretching from West Yellowstone to eastern Idaho.

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