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50 Years After Northern Utah's Big Quake

Later this month residents in the Northern Utah community of Richmond will gather to commemorate an earthquake that destroyed buildings and was felt in 6 states.

UPR's Kerry Bringhurst says residents who were alive at the time of the quake 50 years ago want those living in Richmond today to realize disasters can happen -- even in a small Utah town -- and to be prepared.

On August 30, 1962 a 5.7 magnitude earthquake caused $1 million dollars in damage. It happened at 6:35 in the morning, when many of the area's farmers were already up and working. The University of Utah seismograph station reports that seismic waves were felt over a 66,000 square mile area in 6 different states.

One of the buildings destroyed during the quake was Richmond's Benson Stake Tabernacle. Photographs of that building and others will be on display on August 30 to commemorate an event considered to be one of the rarest natural events in Utah history.

Organizers of the commemoration are gathering photographs and newspaper articles for display in the community's city theater, city hall, and relic hall. Speakers will talk about the quake and share stories of how the community coped.

If you have an item you would like to have included in the commemoration, you can drop it off at the Richmond city office or send them to or P.O. Box 9, Richmond, Utah 84333-0009.

At 14-years-old, Kerry began working as a reporter for KVEL “The Hot One” in Vernal, Utah. Her radio news interests led her to Logan where she became news director for KBLQ while attending Utah State University. She graduated USU with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and spent the next few years working for Utah Public Radio. Leaving UPR in 1993 she spent the next 14 years as the full time mother of four boys before returning in 2007. Kerry and her husband Boyd reside in Nibley.