Utah Hit With Strongest Earthquake Since 1992

A 5.7 magnitude earthquake shakes Salt Lake City, its suburbs
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2020 10:25 AM CDT
Utah Hit With Strongest Earthquake Since 1992
Construction workers looks at the rubble from a building after an earthquake Wednesday in Salt Lake City.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

A 5.7 magnitude earthquake shook Salt Lake City and its suburbs early Wednesday, causing spooked residents to flee their homes, knocking out power for tens of thousands, and closing the city's airport. The epicenter was just southwest of Salt Lake City, and about 2.8 million in the state probably felt the quake, the US Geological Survey reports. There were no initial reports of injuries or major damage to buildings, said Utah Emergency Management spokesman Joe Dougherty. It was the largest quake to hit Utah since a 5.9 magnitude quake shook southern Utah in 1992, per Utah Emergency Management. After the initial quake struck at 7:09am, the USGS recorded four smaller quakes over the next 23 minutes, ranging in magnitude from 3.7 to 3.9.

Residents reported feeling shaking across a 100-mile area, with the heaviest impact in Salt Lake County, officials said. Some residents ran from their homes and into the streets as they felt the earthquake shake buildings for 10 to 15 seconds. "We're hearing of lights falling down, bookcases falling down, we've heard of water lines breaking inside of buildings," Dougherty said. He recommended that people check on their neighbors, but that advice could be challenging when people are being told to stay inside their homes to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, reports the AP. People reported feeling the quake in the neighboring states of Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, and Nevada. Gov. Gary Herbert warned people to stay away from downtown Salt Lake City while officials assess damage. (Read more earthquake stories.)

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