5.7 magnitude earthquake strikes Utah

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A 5.7-magnitude earthquake rattled the Wasatch Front early Wednesday knocking out power for tens of thousands and closing the Salt Lake City airport.

The epicenter of the shock was located in the northwestern Salt Lake Valley about 3 miles north of Magna.

The earthquake was widely felt throughout the Wasatch Front area of north-central Utah. It was followed by more than 90 aftershocks. The largest aftershock reported was a magnitude 4.6 quake.

Tens of thousands of Wasatch Front residents lost power after the earthquake. Rocky Mountain Power reported initially as many as 73,000 customers were affected.

Operations at Salt Lake City International Airport came to a halt, planes were diverted and the control tower and concourses were evacuated. Utah Transit Authority stopped all TRAX service.

Multiple state agencies including the Utah Department of Transportation immediately responded to assess any potential damage to building and infrastructure.

Damage to buildings was reported in downtown Salt Lake City. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said the Angel Moroni statue on top of the Salt Lake Temple was damaged during the quake.

The Rescue Mission in downtown Salt Lake City received some damage to the building forcing its occupants to evacuate Wednesday morning. ABC4.com’s Jared Giottonini spoke to the CEO of the Rescue Mission about steps the organization took immediately following the quake.

The quake caused the release of chemicals at Kennecott refinery west of Salt Lake City, creating a visible plume that moved toward the Great Salt Lake, said Clint Mecham, Salt Lake County’s emergency manager.

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson announced an emergency declaration Wednesday afternoon related to the quake.

“The best news of the day is that we have seen no injuries or loss of life,” said officials.

According to the Utah Division of Emergency Management, Wednesday’s earthquake is the largest to hit the state since 1992 when a 5.9 magnitude earthquake hit southwestern Utah.

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