A 5.7-magnitude earthquake shook the Salt Lake City area early Wednesday, knocking out power to tens of thousands of homes, shutting down the city’s airport and bringing the light rail system to a halt.
The epicenter was just southwest of Salt Lake City and an estimated 2.76million residents likely felt the quake, the US Geological Survey reported.
Residents reported feeling shaking across a 100-mile area, with the heaviest impact in Salt Lake County, officials said.
Some residents ran from their homes and into the streets as they felt the earthquake shake buildings for 10 to 15 seconds.
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This Wednesday photo shows the Angel Moroni statue atop the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City after a 5.7-magnitude earthquake, which knocked a trumpet from the angel’s hand
The gold Moroni statue atop the historic Salt Lake City Mormon Temple is missing its horn after the temblor
Slide right to see the damage to the golden statue of the angel Moroni in the wake of the earthquake
A photo purportedly taken inside a home in Magna, Utah, shows broken glass littering the kitchen in the wake of today’s earthquake
The temblor caused cabinet doors to fly open, disgorging all of their contents onto the kitchen floor. In the living room, a flat-screen TV is seen laying on the carpet
The quake caused havoc in the bathroom, knocking over items and shaking out the contents of the medicine cabinet
Earthquake: This map from the US Geological Survey shows the location of a 5.7-magnitude earthquake that struck this morning near Salt Lake City
Debris lays on the ground outside of Cucina Toscana in Salt Lake City, where the quake damaged multiple structures
Fred Moesinger, owner of BTG Wine Bar and Caffe Molise in Salt Lake City, picks up bricks among debris that fell from his building Wednesday
Israel Garcia looks over damage to his mobile home after the earthquake in Salt Lake City. The quake sent panicked residents running to the streets
People reported feeling the quake in the neighboring states of Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming and Nevada.
There were no reports of injuries, but the tremor knocked power to nearly 55,000 homes and businesses, said utility Rocky Mountain Power.
Property damage was reported at Rescue Mission of Salt Lake City, where a wall collapsed, sparking an evacuation, reported KTVX.
The USGS reported said the earthquake hit at 7.09am about 2.5 miles north of Magna, a township in Salt Lake County located about 10 miles away from Salt Lake City, at a depth of 6 miles.
‘From what we have been able to determine, it doesn’t appear this was major shaking,’ Utah’s Division of Emergency Management tweeted after the seismological event.
At least six aftershocks were recorded in the immediate aftermath of the main quake, and more were expected throughout the day.
The quake damaged the Angel Moroni statue atop Salt Lake Temple, the Mormon Church’s largest, knocking a trumpet from the angel’s hand. A church spokesman also said some of the temple’s smaller spire stones were displaced, according to the Deseret News.
In Herriman, just south of the capital Salt Lake City, bricks from the facade of the Silver Crest Elementary School fell in front of the main entrance.
Cracks appeared in the brick facade of a Salt Lake City bank building, and rubble appeared on the sidewalk in front of an unoccupied building under construction, social media images showed.
A freeway sign along I-215 announces the closure of the Salt Lake International Airport after the 5.7-magnitude earthquake
Travelers wait outside in the cold after being evacuated from the Salt Lake International Airport Wednesday
A Twitter user shared a video showing the chandelier in his dining room swinging to and fro during the seismic event. ‘Just felt my first earthquake,’ Dave Noriega wrote. ‘That was crazy’
Utah Emergency Management shared this map indicating that the stronger shaking was felt in and around Magna, Utah, with less intense shaking radiating outward
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall addressed the earthquake in a morning tweet
Area residents have been sharing videos on Twitter showing the impact of the temblor, which knocked pictured off the walls and dishes from shelves.
One recording shows a child having breakfast in her high chair when the quake strikes, visibly shaking the room.
‘Oh, my gosh!’ her mother exclaims in the background as the girl pauses her meal with a frightened look on her face.
Another Twitter user shared a video showing the chandelier in his dining room swinging to and fro during the seismic event.
‘Just felt my first earthquake,’ Dave Noriega wrote. ‘That was crazy.’
A social media user from Magna, which was the site of the epicenter, shared on Instagram dramatic photos of household items scattered all over the house after the earthquake.
One photo shows a flat-screen TV resting on the floor. Another image shows broken crockery littering the kitchen, along with canned good that had flown out of cabinets.
A Utah mom videotaping her daughter over breakfast captured the earthquake in real time. The clip shows the room shaking and her child looking frightened
This is Utah’s most powerful earthquake since 1992, when a magnitude 5.9 quake rattled the area of St. George.
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall addressed the earthquake in a morning tweet, writing: ‘I know the last thing we need right now is an earthquake, but here we are, and it sounds like aftershocks are likely.’
Operations at the Salt Lake International Airport came to a halt and the control tower and concourses were evacuated, the airport tweeted. Officials were conducting a runway inspection to try to determine if there was any damage, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. Planes headed to Salt Lake City were diverted.
The FAA’s Salt Lake Air Route Traffic Control Center, which is housed separately from the airport control tower, is handling all air traffic in the area, the agency said.
Salt Lake City is the 23rd busiest U.S. airport and a hub for Delta Air Lines.
The quake also shut down the light rail service for Salt Lake City and its suburbs.
Authorities said older buildings may have suffered structural damage though they did not expect to find severe damage in most structures, said Utah Emergency Management spokesman Joe Dougherty.
‘We´re hearing of lights falling down, bookcases falling down, we’ve heard of water lines breaking inside of buildings,’ Dougherty said.
A wall collapsed at Rescue Mission of Salt Lake City this morning as a result of the quake
The damage to the building prompted an evacuation of the shelter
Police officers walk pass rubble at the damaged Rescue Mission after Wednesday’s earthquake
He recommended that people check on their neighbors, but that advice that could be challenging when people are being told to say inside their homes to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
‘This is the time for people to really do the right thing, make sure everyone is taken care of,’ Dougherty said. ‘But we still do need to remember we have a pandemic going on at the same time.’
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert urged residents to stay away from downtown Salt Lake City while work crews assessed the damage from the quake.
Herbert also said the state’s poison control center at the University of Utah in the capital Salt Lake City was evacuated while officials assessed the damage, and he said the coronavirus hotline was down.
The Utah Department of Health said it set up a temporary hotline for information about the coronavirus.
Amid the virus outbreak, the governor reminded people to stay home or telecommute, unless they are essential employees, or work in public safety.
As of Wednesday morning, there were 51 confirmed cases of the deadly COVID-19 virus in Utah, and 7,898 cases nationwide.