Morning earthquake shakes So. Utah; preparedness is key

ST. GEORGE – A minor earthquake shook the ground 17 miles west of Ivins near the Nevada border early Monday morning. The local magnitude 3.0 earthquake happened at 7:47 a.m., and there are no reports of any damage or injuries.

Both the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Utah Seismograph Station are reporting the local magnitude 3.0 earthquake, although the two use slightly different measuring systems.

“We usually record an average of 25 or 26 earthquakes of magnitude 3 or greater a year somewhere in Utah,” said UUSS Earthquake Information Officer Paul Roberson.

“We don’t expect damage until you get closer to a magnitude 5,” Roberson said. “It’s just a good reminder to think about earthquake preparedness and the potential for a larger earthquake.”

While the earthquake was minor, residents should keep in mind that Southern Utah is in an active geological zone for earthquakes.

“We certainly have potential both along the Wasatch Front as well as in the St. George/Cedar City area for a large damaging earthquake, particularly above a magnitude 6,” Roberson said.

Earthquakes in Southern Utah

The Hurricane fault is the second largest fault in Utah. While the Hurricane fault is not as long, or as active, as the Wasatch fault, it and the Washington fault are both capable of generating large earthquakes.

The last major event in Southern Utah was the St. George earthquake of 1992 at local magnitude 5.8. That earthquake caused a lot of damage to older brick buildings and also triggered a landslide in Springdale.

Preparedness and awareness are important. Old unreinforced brick buildings, or unreinforced masonry, or URM, can be a big problem when sizable earthquakes hit. Southern Utah has tens of thousands of URMS among 160,000 statewide, Bill Lund of the Southern Utah Geological Survey said in a May 2013 interview. And they present a dilemma to the URM owner, he said; it is possible to do a “seismic retrofit,” but the cost is usually prohibitive.

Geologic risk of some kind exists in any region. Southern Utah residents need to be aware of the risks, and understand how to be prepared. University of Utah Seismograph Stations has prepared an informative booklet, provided here: Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country.

St. George News Editor-in-Chief Joyce Kuzmanic contributed to this report.

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13 Comments

  • Koolaid November 10, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    It comes as a surprise to everyone that St George is faulted?

  • Bender November 10, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    11 October 2104. We will rebuild; never forget.
    .
    http://i.imgur.com/cDfbOHe.jpg

    • Brian Daniels November 10, 2014 at 8:46 pm

      Bender the Prophet! 90 years from now… a magnitude 3.0 tips over his great grandsons coffee cup! lol

      • dancing infidel November 12, 2014 at 9:18 am

        Good one BRIAN DANIELS. BENDER suffers from a delusional,deteriorating form of mental health. No one really pays that much attention to him.

    • ladybugavenger November 10, 2014 at 9:49 pm

      bahahahaha thanks for the laugh

    • sagemoon November 11, 2014 at 8:49 am

      LOL

    • Just Me.... November 11, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      L O L !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • DAVE RABBITT November 10, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Little do most of you know, that the Federal Government is responsible for this earthquake!

    All of these people in Utah that are running stops signs, crashing into walls, wiping-out guardrails and even power-sliding their Prius through intersections; They all have one thing in common: HAARP – (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program).

    The residents of the State of Utah are being used as GUINEA PIGS, for this research. We are being punished for our non-compliance to federally regulated land, non-compliance to the Employment Discrimination Act and most importantly: non-compliance to Dancing, without a Special Event Permit!!!

    They’ve had their dial set to “1”, causing people to fall asleep at the wheel, cough so hard that they passed out – and even suffer some type of medical event, after running over multiple people.

    At 7:47 a.m., someone at HAARP – who was probably pissed-off that we were talking about killing prairie dogs -turned the dial up to 1.5 and caused a 3.0 magnitude earthquake.

    This was a test – and a warning to all residents of Southern Utah:
    RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!

  • Zonkerb November 10, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Oh yeah St George has a major religious fault and a no dance zone

  • Koolaid November 11, 2014 at 9:34 am

    It’s those fracking prairie dogs!

  • Wilbur November 11, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    not even a four-pointer? sheesh.

    go back to bed!!!!

  • someone November 12, 2014 at 11:14 am

    I love looking at these Comments each and every day. It gives me something to laugh at, and usually people bore me so much that I pity their existence. In five years, St. George News will be reporting about every dog barking incident and lawn geyser, and I’ll still be getting a good laugh in.

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