Intermountain Seismic Belt Historical Earthquake Project
September 2, 1992 – St. George, UT – M 5.8
In the early morning of Wednesday, September 2, 1992 (4:26 a.m. MDT), a magnitude 5.8 earthquake occurred near Washington, Utah.
Most of the destruction occurred near the town of Springdale, Utah, near the mouth of Zion National Park. Utah State Route 9 (SR-9) connecting Springdale and the south entrance of Zion Park was closed as a nearby hillside began to slide down over the road. One report estimated that the slide was moving at 3-4 feet per hour. At one point, the slide was measured at two-thirds of a mile long and one-fifth of a mile wide. The slide left a scarp as high as 50 feet in one location.
Three houses on the hillside were destroyed. Residents in one of the homes attempted to evacuate by car but were impeded by rocks and cracks in the road. They left their car and walked/slid down the hillside. Residents of the second house were helped down the hillside by rescue workers. The third house was unoccupied at the time of the earthquake.
The landslide also swept off telephone poles and lines. And a water line broke under the road, near the south entrance to Zion Park. Springdale and Zion Park were without power for about 24 hours. The Park re-opened the next day, but SR-9 remained closed.
The earthquake was reported felt as far west as Las Vegas, Nevada; as far south as Flagstaff, Arizona; as far to the east as Escalante-Boulder, Utah, and as far north as Richfield, Utah.
In the St. George, Utah area, loosened plaster and minor cracks in walls were reported.
In Hurricane, Utah, windows shook, bookcases were knocked over, and goods on store shelves were shaken to floor. The earthquake caused extensive structural damage to an historical house in the city.
In Toquerville, Utah, a building and at least two automobiles were damaged from a large boulder that rolled down a hillside.
There were several reports that loud blasts were heard just prior to the shaking. One Ivins, Utah resident thought that a gas line had exploded. There were also reports of dust clouds from nearby rockslides.
Some liquefaction occurred along the Virgin River as evidenced by small sand boils and ground cracks.
No deaths or serious injuries were reported in connection with this earthquake.
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