Earthquake rattles southwestern Utah, one of many in the last 2 weeks

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

ST. GEORGE — An earthquake rattled Wayne County Tuesday.

Map showing the location of earthquake near Loa, Utah. Map generated April 3, 2016 | Map courtesy of the United States Geological Survey, St. George News

The temblor, measuring 3.5 magnitude, was centered about 2.5 miles west northwest of Loa and occurred at 2:26 p.m. No damage or injuries were reported.

The United States Geological Survey says the Loa area has had a swarm of over 40 minor earthquakes in the past two weeks, ranging from today’s 3.5 down to a 0.2. Earthquakes under 2.0 are considered to be undetectable except by instruments unless the observer is right on top of the epicenter.

Earthquakes in Utah

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

The “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 aftershocks, are reported in Utah 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.

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 6.6, just north of the Great Salt Lake, followed by the 1901 earthquake near the town of Richfield, recorded with an estimated magnitude 6.5. Since 1850, at least 15 independent earthquakes of magnitude 5.5 and larger have occurred in the Utah region.


Read more: Major earthquakes in Southern Utah; morning brings lesser, 3.4, 2.5 magnitude tremors


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.

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’re 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 rocks, landslides, trees and other debris that could be loosened by quakes.

St. George News reporter Cody Blowers contributed to this story.

Email: rwayman@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @NewsWayman

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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4 Comments

  • Bender April 3, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    Headline writer who titled article “Earthquake rattles southwestern Utah…”, Loa is firmly in south central Utah. Nothing really west about it. #getamapdudesheesh

  • utahdiablo April 3, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    Hope everyone has their earthquake rider on their home insurance policy as the “big one” is coming sooner than you think

  • Striker4 April 3, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    Run for your lives ! The sky is falling

  • Death Valley April 4, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    Funny when such a small earthquake is considered news.
    Let us all know when you start registering earthquakes of 5.0 or greater.

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