The Blue Review Revisits Borah Peak Earthquake on 30th Anniversary



30 years after an earthquake registering 7.3 n the Richter scale which shook Eastern Idaho, killing two schoolchildren and causing approximately $12 million in property damage, Idaho still faces some challenges in preparing for another disaster of that magnitude.

Today's edition of The Blue Review chronicles the Oct. 28, 1983, Borah Peak Earthquake that centered in the Lost River Range and became the state's most significant recorded earthquake. The quake shook the community of Challis, where two children were killed by falling masonry. 39 homes and 11 commercial buildings suffered major damage, and tremors caused damage to 200 other homes in the communities of Challis and Mackay.

But The Blue Review's Christopher Mathias writes that the state of Idaho's "lack of bandwidth means information about probable security threats—drought, dam breaks, livestock disease and earthquakes—is more expensive, more slowly shared and therefore less plentiful."

Meanwhile, Mathias writes that voluntary organizations are stepping up in lieu of growth of governmental assistance; but add that "until the next big shake, those inside and outside government need to be equitable partners in incident management."

"In the three decades since the Borah Peak quake, incident management in Idaho has matured and evolved, but challenges abound," he writes.