Utah Hit with 5.7 Magnitude Earthquake That Causes Closure of Salt Lake City Airport

Busayo Ogunjimi
Mar 18, 2020
06:00 P.M.
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The airports located in Salt Lake City have all been reportedly disabled as the area gets hit with a 5.7 magnitude earthquake. 

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Salt Lake, Utah, was just hit by a 5.7-degree earthquake. The earthquake is reportedly the most vigorous they've had to endure since 1992 — it has reportedly knocked out the Utah Coronavirus hotline. 

The quake began at exactly 7:10 on Wednesday morning, and according to the U.S Geographical Survey (USGS), it was centered just north of Magna, however, houses between Salt Lake City and Antelope Island felt tremors and even reportedly shook.

A freeway sign along I-215 announces the closure of the Salt Lake International Airport after an earthquake on March 18, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah Photo: Getty Images

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There were reports of power outages pouring in from all corners of the state — in a statement made by Rocky Mountain Power. The quake has impacted more than 55,000 customers. The company shared via it's Twitter handle,

"We currently are assessing damages and will restore power as soon as possible."

In response to the disaster, the Utah Transit Authority has halted all services on the train and light rail system until further notice. 

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"We are working with power companies to restore power and have crews evaluating our rails for damage," the authority tweeted.  

The transit authorities were not the only administration making moves; the Federal Aviation Administration also enforced a ground stop for the Salt Lake International Airport. 

The Utah Department of Health's state lab and the Utah coronavirus hotline are down.

A worker sets up barriers as a Delta plane sits idle at the Salt Lake International Airport after it was closed due to an earthquake on March 18, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah | Photo: Getty Images

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Utah's current Governor, Gary Herbert, beseeched citizens to follow proper safety measures in the event of any additional tremors or quakes.

The tweet was followed by another from Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, who admitted that there were going to be aftershocks. 

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As predicted, the tremors continued for about 23 minutes after the earthquake subsided. According to the USGS, the magnitudes of the tremors ranged from 3.7 to 3.9.

Utah is said to experience 5.0 magnitude or higher earthquakes every ten years, while those with 6.0-magnitude or higher occur every 50 years. 

People wait outside in the cold after being evacuated from the Salt Lake International Airport after an earthquake on March 18, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah | Photo: Getty Images

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The earthquake comes while the country is dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic. The Utah State Health Department has confirmed 51 individuals, both residents, and visitors, have tested positive for the disease.

Across the country, more than 6500 people are infected, and 115 deaths have been recorded, according to data from John Hopkins University.

We at AmoMama do our best to give you the most updated news regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, but the situation is constantly changing. We encourage readers to refer to the online updates from CDC, WHO, or Local Health Departments to stay updated. Take care!

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