UPDATED: 4.4 earthquake shakes northern area of Southern Utah

Stock image | Photo by Petrovich9/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — An earthquake measuring 4.4 magnitude shook near the tri-county center of Iron, Garfield and Beaver counties early Saturday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

There are no reports of damage from the temblor that was centered 9.9 miles southwest of Circleville. The quake was considered very shallow for a quake – making it more likely to be felt over a wider area – occurring at 3.5 miles deep.

An aftershock of magnitude 3.0 occurred at 7:41 a.m.

Caltech and USGS seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones, known for being one of the top authorities on earthquakes and the public voice when large earthquakes hit Southern California, provided insight to St. George News on Southern Utah’s shaker.

“This is part of the Intermountain seismic belt related to the Wasatch fault,” Jones said.

Map shows the region hit and the intensity of a 4.4 magnitude earthquake in Southern Utah, Oct. 3, 2020 | Image courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey, St. George News | Click to enlarge

According to the USGS, the Intermountain seismic fault stretches from northwestern Arizona through the center of Utah, then up through the border of Idaho and Wyoming before dying out in northwestern Montana.

The Wasatch fault was responsible for the 5.7 magnitude earthquake in the Salt Lake City area on March 18.

According to a report by seismologists at the University of Utah, a total of 45 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater have occurred within 16 miles of the epicenter of Saturday’s earthquake since 1962. The largest was a magnitude 4.6 on Jan. 3, 2011 that was centered 6.5 miles northwest of Circleville.

St. George News readers from as far south as Springdale reported feeling the quake. “Did You Feel It” reports received by the USGS had the quake being lightly felt as far away as St. George and Page, Arizona.

The most intense shaking was of light intensity felt in Circleville, Beaver and near the epicenter.

According to the USGS, a quake of that magnitude is capable of breaking windows or causing small or unstable objects to fall.

Ivins City resident Kierstie Leavitt said she felt the earthquake 124 miles southwest of the epicenter, though didn’t realize that was what she felt until she saw the initial report on St. George News.

“No objects fell, but I could feel a subtle shaking of my bed,” Leavitt said.

Did you feel it? Had objects fall or damage? Let us know by emailing [email protected].

Updated Oct. 3 at 12:20 p.m. to include additional details, report from Ivins City and comment from USGS seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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