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What happens during an earthquake?

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News)- Are you okay? Did you feel that?” Those are the two questions we asked anyone and everyone, here in Utah, on the morning of Wednesday, March 18, 2020…And over 2,000 aftershocks, since. (quake.utah.edu/UUSS) 

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At 7:09 AM MDT, a magnitude 5.7 earthquake shook us all! We here in the newsroom were in the middle of our Good Morning Utah post-show updates when the entire newsroom started shifting and shaking. We looked at each other and either dove under our desks or ran into a doorway, whatever we were closer to, we just knew we had to be safe and follow earthquake protocol. Now I lived in Los Angeles for a few years and I’m familiar with earthquakes, but this was so much stronger!

I quickly searched the USGS site (U.S. Geological Survey, usgs.gov) and waited for updates. Everyone stayed on the ground floor, but we could hear glass shattering and ceiling panels creaking. The lights went out and it was dark, but we all managed to go into the studio and weather center and update you all at home. 

After refreshing a few times, the data was in. The magnitude of the earthquake was a 5.7 and though considered a “moderate” earthquake on the Richter Scale (usgs.gov), felt much more than “moderate” to all of us.

Seismologists at The University of Utah explain, depending on location the main earthquake could have been felt anywhere from 4 to 20 seconds, though I’m sure it felt a lot longer to us. There are three types of faults, check out the video to see what those faults are called, how they’re categorized and what type of fault shook us here.

RELATED: Earthquake Fault Lines: New study pinpoints Wasatch Fault zones

The UUSS and USGS are partner agencies. It’s great to know we have so many wonderful seismologists keeping us updated and safe. A seismologist studies earthquakes. 

I look forward to sharing more fun Science stories with you! Email me at: emartin@abc4.com or join me on social media @witherikamartin.  I wonder what my next video will be on? #staytuned 

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