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A small weekend earthquake reminds Utahns to prepare for larger disasters

A map of northern Utah showing an earthquake radius with the center slightly east of the Great Salt Lake.
U.S. Geological Survey

While the 3.6-magnitude earthquake in Box Elder County Saturday morning was a minor, common occurrence, it’s a reminder of larger disasters possible along the Wasatch Front.

The initial earthquake was felt by hundreds near Corinne, with a softer 2.5-magnitude aftershock that evening. No damage or injuries were reported by officials from either event.

Earthquakes of this magnitude aren’t uncommon in Utah, and in fact happen about once a month. However, the Wasatch fault that makes earthquakes possible in Utah can cause much greater disaster, with a record of 6.5-magnitude and a capability of up to 7.5.

It’s not unlikely that a major earthquake will hit Utah within the next 50 years, so experts are encouraging Utahns to take this as a sign to prepare. Tips include having earthquake insurance and a 72-hour kit, moving heavy objects away from beds, and securing water heaters.

Those who felt Saturday’s earthquake are encouraged to report it using a survey on the U.S. Geological Survey’s website.

Duck is a general reporter and weekend announcer at UPR, and is studying broadcast journalism and disability studies at USU. They grew up in northern Colorado before moving to Logan in 2018, so the Rocky Mountain life is all they know. Free time is generally spent with their dog, Monty, listening to podcasts, reading or wishing they could be outside more.