Three more earthquakes shook an area near Yellowstone National Park early Friday morning.
The three early morning aftershocks came after an initial 4.5-magnitude quake occurred at 6:48 p.m. Thursday. It happened about 8 miles northeast of West Yellowstone. Nine earthquakes followed.
At 2:02 Friday, a 2.8-magnitude earthquake hit the same area. It was followed by a 2.7-magnitude quake at 6:40 a.m. and another one at 7:17 a.m.
The West Yellowstone Police Department says the initial earthquake was felt in the town that borders the park, but there were no reports of damage.
The University of Utah Seismograph Stations said the quake was part of “an energetic sequence” of about 30 earthquakes in the area that began on Monday. Thursday’s quake was the largest to occur in Yellowstone since a 4.8-magnitude quake in March 2014.
Earthquakes occur frequently in and around Yellowstone.
In 1959, the Hebgen Lake earthquake near Yellowstone in Montana killed 28 people.
[Local News Story]
A 23-year-old kayak guide, Timothy Hayden Ryan Conant from Salt Lake City, Utah, died while attempting to rescue a client who capsized on Wednesday, June 14. The incident occurred in the West Thumb area of Yellowstone Lake. The kayaking group consisted of nine clients and three guides.
After receiving a call through the park’s dispatch center, rangers responded to the scene in a patrol boat and found Mr. Conant in the water. They brought him on board and immediately started CPR while in route back to the dock. CPR continued as Mr. Conant was transported to the helipad at Grant Village via ambulance (approximately ½-mile from the dock). A Life Flight landed to assist, but Mr. Conant was pronounced dead before taking off.
The client, who Mr. Conant attempted to save, was rescued by other guides in the group and brought to shore before rangers arrived on scene to help Mr. Conant. The client was transported to the park clinic and treated for hypothermia.
Yellowstone Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake in the United States that is above 7,000 feet. Its waters remain cool throughout the year, so hypothermia is a constant threat.
While monitoring incidents in the National Parks over the last few years, as well as reading the “Death in the Grand Canyon” kind of books, selfies are becoming the latest hazard to tourist safety.
That being the case, Yellowstone National Park has come out with a new Safe Selfies Policy. They ask visitors to take a pledge that includes a warning about selfies. You can click here to see the pledge.
Selfie incidents are a real problem.
Two summers ago, five people taking selfie photographs provoked bison into attacking them. No one was killed, but medical treatment had been needed. Last year, a tourist had died after walking off a pedestrian boardwalk into a thermal area.
I’m not sure a recitation of a pledge is going to do anything to help, but one never knows. People need reminders, but being stupid is so much more fun though!