SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The Utah Division of Emergency Management was hard at work in its operations center collecting data, along with evaluating and monitoring Wednesday’s 5.7 earthquake that hit Magna.
Bob Carey, Program Manager, Utah Division of Emergency Management, provided insight to ABC4 News about the natural disaster.
Most of the damage was done to older buildings
“It’s unfortunate that it happened in a community that has a lot of older buildings. But I think you’ll not see a lot of damage, structural damage to newer buildings and older buildings at distance and that’s not what we’re seeing right now. You might see some non-structural damage, that’s for ceiling tiles fallout, you have water breaks, you might have gas leaks, those are considered non-structural. We’ve heard some of those along the way.”
Why was Magna the epicenter?
“Well, we have lots of faults that are in the inner mountain area, especially along the Wasatch Front. This particular one is on the west side, so I think some people might be referring to it to being on the Oquirrh fault but we’ll have to wait and see what the data produces there. This particular event happened just east of the Tailings Pond in between SR-201 and I-80. This is in an area where we had an earthquake in 1962 and that was a 5.2. So earthquakes, once they’ve happened in certain areas, tend to come back to those areas. So, yeah, would we have predicted this one to happen? No. But are we surprised that it happened there? No. I think this is just the way things are. It’s random. Like I said, it’s been 62 that there’s been an event there. It’s not a surprise, but we couldn’t predict it.”
Will there be long-term effects?
“This hasn’t interrupted the supply of food to the state. It didn’t interrupt the flow of fuel to the state. There might be some power outages here and there and that’s to be expected. There might be some water issues. That’s to be expected. But it’s not on a big scale. It’s on a very small and localized scale.”
Is ‘the big one’ coming?
“It’s only like a 5 percent chance that we would have seen a bigger earthquake. We still have a possibility that there might be one, but the longer we go between that main event, and this, if we’re going to have this, it decreases in probability a lot. I would be surprised if we would have a bigger event than this 5.7. The aftershock sequence that we’re seeing tends to follow and is what you would expect.”
For details on how you can prepare your family for an emergency situation, click here.