Utah Hit By 5.7-Magnitude Earthquake
A 5.7-magnitude earthquake hit Utah just after 7:00 a.m. local time, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported.
The earthquake hit just northeast of Magna, a township in Salt Lake County, several miles west of downtown Salt Lake City. No fatalities have been reported so far, but roughly 40,000 residents lost power after the earthquake, according to Rocky Mountain Power.
The earthquake was followed by several aftershocks. According to the USGS, a second 3.7-magnitude aftershock hit about 7:15 a.m. MDT (Mountain Daylight Time), according to the USGS, and another 3.5-magnitude aftershock hit shortly after. As of 7:30 a.m. MDT, at least 10 aftershocks had already hit, ranging from magnitude 2.5 to 3.9, according to the USGS.
“I know the last thing we need right now is an earthquake, but here we are, and it sounds like aftershocks are likely,” Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said in a tweet Wednesday morning. “The City is assessing the situation now and I’ll circle back with an update when I have it.”
Utah Division of Emergency Management officials said it is very likely people will be feeling aftershocks across the Wasatch Front throughout the day Wednesday, KSL.com reports.
A public service alert called for residents to limit travel and shelter-in-place if possible. Multiple agencies are coordinating an earthquake response and damage is being assessed. All areas that were possibly impacted are currently being monitored.
In Salt Lake City, the Salt Lake Temple sustained some minor damage, according to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"The Salt Lake Temple, which is undergoing a seismic upgrade, sustained some minor damage during Wednesday morning's earthquake. The trumpet on the Angel Moroni statue fell off, and there is minor displacement of some of the temple's smaller spire stones. No workers were injured,” a church spokesman said in a statement Wednesday morning.
Local officials said Wednesday's quake was the largest to hit Utah since 1992.
For more information on emergency response issues, see the Security Management article “A Strategic Response.”