EARTHQUAKE

5.7-Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Wasatch Front, Causes Widespread Minor Damage

Mar 18, 2020, 7:33 AM | Updated: 10:40 am
A 5.7-magnitude earthquake with an epicenter near Magna rocked the Wasatch Front on March 18, 2020....
A 5.7-magnitude earthquake with an epicenter near Magna rocked the Wasatch Front on March 18, 2020. (KSL TV)
(KSL TV)

MAGNA, Utah – Preliminary reports from the University of Utah seismograph stations indicate a 5.7-magnitude earthquake along the Wasatch Front, with its epicenter in Magna.

The earthquake happened at 7:09 a.m. Wednesday, followed soon after by a smaller aftershock of 3.7 magnitude at 7:15 a.m. Officials said there have been up to 26 aftershocks have occurred, including a 4.4 magnitude quake around 8:02 a.m.

It’s possible the area could see a larger earthquake. Officials said the likelihood was low, but people should be aware and prepared in case the shaking of the area has not ended.

Officials said the quake was about 8 to 10 miles deep.

There have been no reports of fatalities. Information about any injuries was not available.

Rocky Mountain Power has reported an outage impacting around 74,000 customers at one time.

“We currently are assessing damages and will restore power as soon as possible,” officials tweeted.

The earthquake and power outage initially severely impacted KSL and the station’s ability to broadcast.

“Triad Center is evacuated. Power is out and we are on backup generators. Our crews are working to make sure the building is safe before allowing people back in. We are also working as quickly as possible to get our stations on local coverage,” said Tanya Vea, vice president and general manager.

KSL has since reentered the building, and continues to broadcast live updates. Watch on KSL TV or online at ksltv.com/live.

Officials with the Unified Police Department said power has been knocked out at their headquarters, which will be closed until further notice. Anyone who needs non-emergency help from police should call 801-743-7000.

UTA has suspended all TRAX services until further notice until they can assess any damages to the tracks. All trains have pulled to the closest stations. It was unknown how many people were on the trains when operations were suspended.

Crews were also assessing damage to the FrontRunner lines, although officials said trains were still running at slower speeds.

Commuters who use TRAX and FrontRunner have been asked to expect significant delays.

The Salt Lake International Airport has been closed and was not operational, and the FAA has evacuated the operations tower. Terminals have also been evacuated.

The runway did not sustain any damage, but planes were not taking off or landing.

Airport spokesperson Nancy Vollmer said the earthquake caused a water break, resulting in some flooding.

Officials have asked the public not to come to the airport while they assess any damages. The road to the airport was closed after reports of debris, though officials have since said that people picking up passengers may do so.

There have been several reports of damages. Bricks fell from the front of Silver Crest Elementary School in Herriman, where teachers and staff were preparing for remote teaching and handing out Chromebooks to students.

“Our building front it damaged, but we are all safe,” school officials said in a message sent to parents.

Officials with FEMA have provided tips for residents to remain safe. They said you should text people to tell them you’re okay, instead of calling and overloading the cellular services.

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Wednesday, March 18, 2020

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5.7-Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Wasatch Front, Causes Widespread Minor Damage