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Earthquake shakes state capital, USGS says

Capitol Lake in Pierre
Todd Thompson
Capitol Lake in Pierre

The US Geological Survey confirmed a 3.7 magnitude earthquake northwest of the state capitol Thursday.

The epicenter of the quake was between Spring Creek and Lake Oahe, about 20 miles north of Pierre.

It registered at 3.7 on the Richter Scale and was centered about seven miles below the earth's surface. The USGS said that level of earthquake is powerful enough to be felt, but generally not strong enough to cause damage.

The USGS received over 100 reports from people who say they felt the earthquake, mostly in the Pierre area. Anyone who wishes to report feeling the quake can do so on the USGS website.

While earthquakes are unusual in South Dakota, they’re not unheard of. The state sees on average two or three per year, mostly in the Black Hills or along the Missouri or James rivers.

Most are below 4 on the Richter scale. The largest was a 5.1 quake that hit the southwestern corner of the state in 1964.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture
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