Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

December 31, 2020
2020 Top 10 Stories: #6 Magna quake shakes Tooele

An earthquake that originated from an epicenter in Magna shook individuals living in Tooele County in March. 

Over 1,000 aftershocks from the earthquake were reported, some strong enough to be felt in Tooele County.

The earthquake hit Tooele County on March 18, at 7:09 a.m., with an epicenter about 4 miles northeast of Magna.

The initial earthquake was felt in Tooele County, Southern Idaho, Wyoming, and south into Millard County.

The quake was the largest in Utah since 1992.

After the initial earthquake, rumors that a larger more destructive quake was on its way  spread throughout the county.

Bucky Whitehouse, emergency management director for Tooele County, clarified for the public — the rumors were false.

“We have a group of people that are trained to do rumor control,” he said the day after the earthquake. “The biggest concern yesterday was that a 9.0 earthquake was coming soon. This was misinformation. It is not possible for the seismologists to predict the magnitude of earthquakes especially during such a precise time limit.”

No injuries in the county were reported.

After the earthquake hit, damage control crews traveled around the county to look for structural or cosmetic damage.

Whitehouse said that the damage was minimal.

Only eight structures in the county had been damaged.

Whitehouse confirmed two water line breaks in the county due to the quake.

No gas leaks were reported.

Dozens of aftershocks varying in magnitudes were reported and caused residents of the county to feel uneasy.

On April 14, a 4.2 magnitude aftershock hit Tooele County at 8:56 p.m. causing panic and uncertainty.

Another 4.2 aftershock struck at 7:41 a.m. on April 16.

After the 4.2 aftershocks, Whitehouse said that it was unknown why such a large aftershock occurred so long after the initial earthquake. However, after an earthquake, aftershocks can occur for weeks or even months, he said.

Over 1,000 aftershocks were reported, most of which were not felt.

After the earthquake, Whitehouse told members of the community that they should prepare for future earthquakes but keep calm.

“Residents are encouraged to ‘plan, don’t panic,’ or ‘prepare, don’t panic,’ whichever way you want to say it,” said Whitehouse. “Residents need to prepare themselves and their families for any emergency that may occur.”

Because of the panic that occurred because of the initial earthquake and the aftershocks, Whitehouse encouraged those feeling anxious to visit to help them cope with the aftermath or emotions related to the earthquake.


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