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6.5 Quake Shakes Idaho

'It felt like a wave,' says ER worker at hospital dealing with outbreak
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 31, 2020 9:35 PM CDT

(Newser) – A large earthquake struck north of Boise, Idaho, on Tuesday evening, with people across a large area reporting shaking. An emergency room health unit coordinator at St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center, said the hospital, about 65 miles south of the epicenter, shook, but the quake didn't interfere with the treatment of patients. The hospital in Blaine County is on the front line of Idaho's coronavirus outbreak, the AP reports, in a region with the highest per capita rates of COVID-19 cases in the nation outside the New York City area. "It felt like a wave going through the ground, so I knew right away what it was," emergency room health unit coordinator Marcus Smith said.

The US Geological Survey reports the magnitude 6.5 temblor struck just before 5pm. It was centered 73 miles northeast of Meridian, Idaho, near the rural mountain town of Stanley. Brett Woolley, a restaurant owner in Stanley, said he heard the earthquake coming before he felt it. "I heard the roar, and at first it sounded like the wind but then the roar was tremendous,” Woolley said about 10 minutes after the earthquake. "The whole house was rattling, and I started to panic. I'm sitting here perfectly still and the water next to me is still vibrating."

(Read more earthquake stories.)

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