Dinner dishes were rattling all over western Montana on Tuesday evening just after 6:00 p.m. when a large earthquake shook central Idaho and parts of Montana.

Director of the Earthquake Studies Office at the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology in Butte, Mike Stickney, said this really was a large earthquake.

"There was a magnitude 6.5 earthquake that occurred about 25 miles northwest of Stanley, Idaho," said Stickney. "The preliminary magnitude is pegged at 6.5 and it looks like it was felt throughout Idaho and adjacent parts of the surrounding states. This really does qualify as a big earthquake. The last earthquake in Idaho that was this large would have been the 1983 Borah Peak in Idaho that had a magnitude of 6.9.

Stickney said there may be strong aftershocks felt through western Montana over the next few days.

"I would be very surprised if there were not significant aftershocks with this large of an earthquake," he said. "For an earthquake of this magnitude, you can expect aftershocks to be about one to one and a half magnitude units smaller, so there may be aftershocks of five to five a a half magnitude."

The quake was centered northeast of Boise and west of Challis, Idaho in a remote mountainous area.
There are no reports of damage at this time.