Strong and shallow M5.7 earthquake hits Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S. — the largest since 1992


A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M5.7 hit Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S. at 13:09 UTC (07:09 LT) on March 18, 2020. The agency is reporting a depth of 10.6 km (6.6 miles). This is the largest earthquake in Utah since M5.9 near St. George in 1992. EMSC is reporting M5.6 at a depth of 8 km (5 miles).

The epicenter was located 5 km (3.1 miles) NNE of Magna (population 26 505), 9.4 km (5.9 miles) NW of West Valley City (population 136 208), 12.4 km (7.7 miles) NW of Kearns (population 35 731), 14 km (8.7 miles) NNW of Oquirrh (population 11 668), and 16.1 km (10 miles) W of Salt Lake City (population 192 627), Utah.

There are 2 500 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

139 000 are estimated to have felt very strong shaking, 271 000 strong, 599 000 moderate and 1 270 000 light.

The USGS issued a green alert for shaking-related fatalities. There is a low list of casualties.

A yellow alert was issued for economic losses. Some damage is possible and the impact should be relatively localized. Estimated economic losses are less than 1% of GDP of the United States. Past events with this alert level have required a local or regional level response.

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are resistant to earthquake shaking, though vulnerable structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are unreinforced brick masonry and reinforced masonry construction.

Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides that might have contributed to losses.

Image credit: Google, TW/SAM

According to local authorities, the quake was felt across Salt Lake County and in Ogden.

There are no reports of death or injuries but damage reports are coming in.

According to PowerOutage, 74 821 customers in Utah are without power as of 14:46 UTC. "We are currently assessing damages and will restore power as soon as possible," Rocky Mountain Power said, confirming large scale power outage.

The Salt Lake City International Airport is reported to be flooding from broken pipes and evacuating.

22 aftershocks were registered by 14:33 UTC. Magnitudes ranged from 2.5 to 4.4.

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity


Featured image credit: Google, TW/SAM

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One Comment

  1. THE SUPREME GOD OF PHYSICS CANNOT BE WRONG . The predictions of Jamal Shrair cannot be wrong, because he knows the true building blocks of the Universe. He has stated many time in the last 7 years that Yellowstone Super-volcano will erupt in 2020. This earthquake will have strong impact on the caldera of Yellowstone Super-volcano and it is only the start. Yellowstone will erupt this year and I hope it is not a full eruption, because if it is a full eruption the impact on the people of the world will be far worse than the COVID-19.

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