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Earthquakes recorded in Cache County in uncommon event

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University of Utah Seismology Stations
/
UPR
Earthquake Swarm in Cache County

“Everyone can take this sequence of earthquakes as a reminder that we do need to be prepared,” said Susanne Jänecke.

Susanne Jänecke studies earthquakes and faults and particularly the active faults in Cache Valley. She retired as professor in the Department of Geosciences at Utah State University this week, just a day before dozens of Cache County residents reported feeling several small or microearthquakes. The University of Utah Seismograph Stations has recorded at least 14 of them since Monday, all clustered northwest of the Logan airport. Jänecke said it is looking like what’s called a “swarm,” and although they are fairly uncommon, they have been recorded in the region before, there was one in Soda Springs, Idaho in 2017. But not in Cache Valley, until now.

“A swarm is when you have a whole series of earthquakes that are similar in size, closer spaced in time and space,” said Jänecke.

It’s too early to tell what fault the swarm is in or if it’s an undiscovered one. Jänecke said scientists should know in a few days, after the depths of the quakes have been confirmed.

She said swarms rarely precede major earthquake events however, there are exceptions and Jänecke said the swarm is a reminder to prepare.

“During the earthquake you should drop, protect your head and your neck, cover and hold on. So don’t go running out of the building,” said Jänecke.

She added to instead, duck under a sturdy a desk or table and if that’s not an option, to lie down next to something such as a sofa or cabinet.

“So, there will be this triangle between whatever you identify that you can lie in and be protected,” said Jänecke.

She said to make a plan for each room or space you might be in when an earthquake strikes.

“You are not going to think about where you are going to go when the shaking starts because you’ve already thought about it because seconds will make a difference and getting yourself and your loved ones prepared and protected and covered,” said Jänecke.

Jänecke said that according to the data, there has been a major earthquake in Cache Valley every 2,000 to 3,000 thousand years. The last one occurred about 3,000 to 4,000 years ago.

More information about earthquakes and preparedness:
Faults & earthquakes RFD Janecke - YouTube
The Great Utah ShakeOut - Get Ready!

Sheri's career in radio began at 7 years old in Los Angeles, California with a secret little radio tucked under her bed that she'd fall asleep with, while listening to The Dr. Demento Radio Show. She went on to produce the first science radio show in Utah in 1999 and has been reporting local, national and international stories ever since. After a stint as news director at KZYX on northern California's Lost Coast, she landed back at UPR in 2021.