Did you feel it? Morning earthquake shakes Cedar City

Seismograph, 3D rendering | Image by Petrovich, Getty Images, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A small earthquake was reported northwest of Cedar City Saturday morning.

Earthquake warning issued Saturday morning advising that a 3.1 earthquake was reported 19 miles northwest of Enoch, Utah, Oct. 7, 2017 | Image courtesy of Cedar City Police Department, St. George News

The earthquake was reported at 6:33 a.m. MST and measured magnitude 3.1, with the epicenter located 25 miles northwest of Cedar City, just off of Lund Highway near Old Telephone Road.


Measurements of the quake show the shaking wasn’t strong enough to have caused damage, and the Cedar City Emergency Communications Center received no calls reporting the earthquake.

Seismic activity and earthquakes are not uncommon in Utah. The University of Utah’s Seismograph Stations reported about 125 incidents of seismic activity in the state in the last two weeks.

The University of Utah’s “Did You Feel It?” program allows individuals to report what they felt during an earthquake and any resulting damage from the incident, and that information is then used to create maps showing what people experienced and the extent of the damage.

About 700 earthquakes, including after-shocks, are reported in the Utah region each year, but only about two percent of them are felt. More than half of those above 3.1 magnitude or greater strike in the Wasatch Front, but they can strike anywhere in Utah, according to the University of Utah.

Map of earthquake reported at 6:33 a.m. MDT measuring a magnitude of 3.1, Iron County, Utah, Oct. 7, 2017 | Image courtesy of Google Maps, St. George News

Since 1850, at least 15 independent earthquakes of magnitude 5.5 and larger have occurred in the Utah region.

Since the first settlers made their home in the region in 1847, the state’s largest earthquakes were the 1934 Hansel Valley earthquake that measured a magnitude of 6.6, just north of the Great Salt Lake, followed by the 1901 earthquake near the town of Richfield, recorded with an estimated magnitude of 6.5.

During the past 6,000 years, large earthquakes have occurred on the Wasatch fault on the average of once every 400 years at locations along the fault’s central active portion between Brigham City and Levan. The chance of a large earthquake in the Wasatch Front region during the next 50 years is about 1 in 4.

There are an estimated 130,000 minor quakes in the world each year, according to Earthquakes Today, and Saturday’s earthquake was actually one of 56 earthquakes with a magnitude of 2.9 or higher recorded worldwide, with the strongest registering 5.3 in L’esperance Rock, New Zealand.

The USGS recommends the following in case of a severe earthquake:

  • If you are indoors, stay there. Get under a desk or table and hang on to it (drop, cover and hold on) or move into a hallway or against an inside wall. Stay clear of windows, fireplaces and heavy furniture or appliances. Get out of the kitchen, which is a dangerous place (things can fall on you). Don’t run downstairs or rush outside while the building is shaking or while there is a danger of falling and hurting yourself or being hit by falling glass or debris.
  • If you outside get into the open, away from buildings, power lines, chimneys and anything else that might fall on you.
  • If you are driving, stop carefully. Move your car as far out of traffic as possible. Do not stop on or under a bridge or overpass or under trees, light posts, power lines or signs. Stay inside your car until the shaking stops. When you resume driving, watch for breaks in the pavement, fallen rocks and bumps in the road at bridge approaches.
  • If you are in a mountainous area, watch out for falling rock, landslides, trees and other debris that could be loosened by quakes.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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