IN FOCUS Discussion: Magna earthquake – One year later

In Focus

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Just a few days after COVID-19 began infecting and shutting down the country, a 5.7 magnitude earthquake hit the Salt Lake Valley at 7:09 a.m. on March 18th, 2020. The epicenter was eight miles below Magna, with residents along the Wasatch Front, Colorado, Wyoming, and Idaho reporting feeling the quake. It added another dark cloud for Utahns and rattled those who felt an earthquake for the first time and were already on edge from the worldwide pandemic.

Experts registered more than 2,500 aftershocks since then and said this earthquake is likely the most widely felt in state history. It is Utah’s strongest since the 1992 earthquake in St. George and caused an estimated $50-$150 million in damage. Although it wasn’t the “big one” that Utahns have been anticipating and didn’t cause any major injuries or deaths, scientists and state leaders said it was a big “wake-up” call for all of us. So what did we learn from this natural disaster and what do we need to do to prepare for the next big earthquake?

Division Chief Clint Mecham of Unified Fire Authority, who is also the Director of Salt Lake County Emergency Management and Kris Pankow, Associate Director for the University of Utah Seismograph Stations joined ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen on the CW30 News at 7 p.m. to talk about what experts learned about the earthquake, how the state responded to the emergency, and what this information tells us about the potential “big one” that’s overdue for the state.

Wade Mathews, Be Ready Utah Manager for the Utah Division of Emergency Management discussed how Utahns can prepare for emergency situations such a big earthquake, what they should have in an emergency kit, how they should respond to an earthquake in different locations, and how they can participate in this year’s Great Utah Shakeout event on April 15.

To watch the full IN FOCUS discussion with Chief Mecham, Pankow, and Mathews, click on the video at the top of the article.

Catch IN FOCUS discussions with ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen weeknights on the CW30 News at 7 p.m.

Rosie Nguyen is an award-winning journalist who joined the ABC4 News team as a reporter in January 2018. In September 2020, she embarked on a new journey as the anchor for the CW30 News at 7 p.m. Although she’s not out in the field anymore, she is continuing her passion for social justice and community issues through the nightly “In Focus” discussions.

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