ST. GEORGE — Three minor earthquakes shook Southern Utah over an approximately five-hour period.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, residents of Panguitch experienced two 2.9 magnitude earthquakes at around 9 p.m. Wednesday evening and a 2.5 magnitude quake at around 1:30 a.m. Thursday morning, all of which were recorded by the University of Utah seismograph station.
Garfield County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Denise Dastrop told St. George News that their dispatch did not receive any calls from Panguitch residents, but officers reported feeling the earthquake while on duty. And while residents may not have called the Sheriff’s Office, the USGS website recorded 25 responses across five blocks of residents who felt one of the two 2.9 magnitude earthquakes.
“We should all be prepared for it because we know we have that possibility happening at any time,” Dastrop said.
Small- to medium-scattered earthquake clusters – meaning those with a magnitude of 3 or 4 – are fairly common in the area, and moderate to large earthquakes are likely in Southern Utah due to the Intermountain Seismic Belt, according to the USGS website.
Earthquakes with magnitudes of 5 and above can cause the ground to shake and significant damage up to 6 miles, while earthquakes with magnitudes of 7 increase that distance up to 31 miles. St. George experienced a 5.9 magnitude earthquake in 1992 and has recorded 127 earthquakes over the past year.
For those experiencing an earthquake, the USGS recommends to stay indoors, get under a table or desk and to stay clear of windows and heavy furniture. Those who are outside when an earthquake hits should stay away from buildings, power lines and anything that might fall on them. Drivers should remain in their cars, stop their vehicles — avoiding bridges, overpasses, trees, light posts, signs or power lines — and move as far away from traffic as possible.
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