By: Becky Bruce
SALT LAKE CITY — Buildings shook along the Wasatch Front Wednesday morning as the result of a 5.7 magnitude earthquake, centered four kilometers north-northeast of Magna.
At least 30 much smaller aftershocks, most with magnitudes less than four, followed within the next couple of hours. The strongest measured 4.6 magnitude.
Just felt the first earthquake of my life. That was crazy. pic.twitter.com/aWew7EOrIt
— Dave Noriega (@davenoriega) March 18, 2020
The U.S. Geological Survey’s earthquake map showed all of the shaking, including the initial 5.7 quake, centered near Magna. KSL listeners reported feeling the initial quake from as far north as Willard and as far south as Point of the Mountain.
— Monitor Sismico (@MonitorSismico) March 18, 2020
The last time Utah experienced an earthquake this strong was a 1992 shaker measuring 5.9 magnitude in St. George.
It’s larger than the pair of earthquakes experienced by Utahns in February 2019, which came in on the Richter scale as a 3.2 and 3.7.
Witnesses reported seeing flashes of light near downtown Salt Lake City, where power flickered off. Thousands of Rocky Mountain Power customers remained in the dark hours later. The company said it was working to assess damages as quickly as they could.
We are aware of large scale power outage in the Salt Lake Valley Area impacting approximately 32,000 customer due to a 5.7 Magnitude Earthquake in the Magna Utah area. We currently are assessing damages and will restore power as soon as possible.
— Rocky Mountain Power UT (@RMP_Utah) March 18, 2020
The Utah Transit Authority also tweeted, announcing all TRAX trains would be pulled into the station and not running until further notice.
Many Utahns reported building damage throughout the morning, with some losing power.
Building damage 5th South 4th West and traffic lights out all along 4th west. Hearing more sirens as the ground shakes again. pic.twitter.com/S5eIySq6Ea
— Mary Richards (@kslmrichards) March 18, 2020
Part of the Salt Lake Rescue Mission collapsed during the quake. However, everyone evacuated, and there were no injuries reported.
Part of the Salt Lake Rescue Mission collapsed, no injuries. Evacuations took place pic.twitter.com/qZ0cO8PyV5
— Felicia Martinez (@FeliciaKSL) March 18, 2020
As of Wednesday morning, no one reported any major collapses. Most of the damage reports included cosmetic rather than structural issues.
Utah is “Earthquake Country,” meaning the state is susceptible to earthquakes, especially along the Wasatch Front. It’s important to prepare yourself and your family for an earthquake. Here are some basic tips on earthquake preparedness:
Before an Earthquake
- Move or secure objects that could fall and hurt you
- Identify your building’s potential weaknesses and begin to fix them
- Create a disaster-preparedness plan and have disaster supply kits ready
During an Earthquake
- Seek cover under sturdy furniture or doorways. As things move, hold on, and move with it.
- Move away from windows and objects that could fall
- Move against a wall in the interior of the building, cover and protect yourself