1992 – St. George, UT – M 5.8

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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1962 – Magna, UT – M 5.2

Intermountain Seismic Belt Historical Earthquake Project

September 5, 1962 – Magna, UT – M 5.2

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake occurred in Magna, Utah, on Wednesday, September 5, 1962 at 9:04 a.m.

The earthquake was felt from the Ogden, Utah area in the north, down to the Provo/Spanish Fork, Utah area in the south. Widespread structural damage occurred in the Salt Lake Valley, particularly in the northwest.

Structural damage included: shattered windows, collapsed walls or ceilings, cracked foundations, cracked and falling plaster, fallen chimneys, homes shifted on foundations, and dislodged parapet walls. Cracks appeared in houses and buildings throughout the Valley. In downtown Salt Lake City, building damage was mostly limited to cracks in plaster.

Non-structural damage was also widespread and varied: overturned aquariums, store goods fallen from shelves, broken dishes and so forth. There were many reports of stopped clocks.

A number of schools were closed temporarily due to building damage or until inspections could be completed.

Water lines, gas lines and electrical service were not interrupted. One high-pressure gas leak in Davis County, Utah, was repaired after several hours. Telephones remained in service, however, circuits were jammed by calls—some for several hours. There were no reports of damage to roads or rail lines.

No deaths or serious injuries were reported for this earthquake. One person suffered a broken leg after falling on a floor made slippery by contents from broken bottles. Another person sustained a hip injury from slipping as she tried rush from a building.



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1901 – Southern Utah – M 6½ ±

Intermountain Seismic Belt Historical Earthquake Project

November 13, 1901 – Southern Utah – M 6½ ±

A magnitude 6½ ± earthquake occurred near Richfield, Utah, at 9:39 p.m. on Wednesday, November 13, 1901. The earthquake was reported felt within an area of 130,000 km2 (roughly 50,000 mi2).

There were reports that the earthquake was accompanied by a roaring sound. The earthquake caused suspended light fixtures to swing, and stopped clocks in many locations. There were a number of reports that the earthquake alarmed animals causing them to call out and behave erratically.

Utah towns reporting damage included: Richfield, Beaver, Joseph, and Elsinore. In these locations there were widespread instances of downed chimneys, cracked walls—particularly in stone and brick buildings, roofs damaged by falling chimneys, and broken windows. Dishes and other goods were shaken from cupboards or shelves and broken. People were greatly frightened with some fainting or rushing into the street.

No loss of life was reported as a result of this earthquake. However, there were reports of a number of near misses from falling walls and ceilings.

Near Marysvale, Utah, cracks in the ground were observed, measuring anywhere from one to 18 inches in width and from a few feet to three hundred feet in length. From some of the larger cracks, fine white sand and water was ejected.

About a mile east of Koosharem, Utah, the ground was greatly disturbed. Some places had sunk and in other places soft earth was thrown up. In one location, earth slid down covering a canal. There was also a report of large ground cracks up to three feet wide, filled with water.

Bullion and Cottonwood canyons, near Marysvale, Utah, were rendered almost impassable from large rocks that rolled down onto roads. Near Junction, Utah, large rocks rolled down from hills in East Fork canyon damaging the wagon road. In some places the water volume of creeks increased 30-50 percent.

There were reports of flashes of light along the ridges and crests of mountains in Piute and Sevier counties.

The earthquake was also reported felt in Salt Lake City, Utah, particularly by those in upper floors of buildings.



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1921 – Elsinore, UT (series) – M 6 ±

Intermountain Seismic Belt Historical Earthquake Project

September 29, 1921 – Elsinore, UT (series) – M 6 ±

Thursday, September 29, 1921 at 7:12 a.m., a magnitude 6 ± earthquake struck Elsinore, Utah. It was followed by two significant aftershocks: a magnitude 5.7 aftershock at 7:03 p.m. the same day, and a magnitude 6 ± aftershock two days later on Saturday, October 1 at 8:32 a.m.

September 29 Main Shock and Aftershock

There was widespread damage to buildings in the city of Elsinore, including: broken or sunk foundations, downed chimneys and gables, cracked walls and fallen plaster, and damaged roofs and ceilings from falling bricks and cement. Nearly every building the city was damaged . Damage was particularly severe for stone, brick and adobe buildings. Frame structures faired somewhat better. Firewalls at the newly built schoolhouse collapsed into the schoolyard. The walls and roof of the school were badly damaged.

No deaths occurred, but there were many near misses when people ran out of buildings while bricks and other building debris was falling.

In the town of Monroe, approximately five miles southeast of Elsinore, there were reports of cracked walls in several buildings. Goods were shaken off store shelves. A pipe trench caved-in. The Monroe hot springs water turned red.

Clouds of dust were observed in nearby canyons as large rocks and cliff sections were shaken loose and tumbled down to the canyon floor.

A significant aftershock later the same day worsened conditions of buildings already damaged earlier that morning.

October 1 Aftershock

The magnitude 6 ± aftershock on October 1 caused some new structure damage as well as worsening the condition of already damaged buildings.. Walls and roofs collapsed. A paint store in Elsinore that had been severely damaged on September 29 had its storefront collapse onto the sidewalk on October 1.

An Elsinore woman was injured from falling plaster when a chimney fell onto the roof. Nearly all residents living in stone or brick houses slept outside or with neighbors who lived in frame houses. People moved household furniture out into their yards for protection.

Dust clouds above nearby canyons were observed again as more boulders were dislodged, tumbling down into the canyon floor. Water at Monroe hot springs once again turned red. Surrounding hills displayed great white seams where the earth surface cracked.

Extensive damage occurred to buildings in Monroe. Practically all chimneys were downed or cracked severely. Some homes damaged by the main shock, were damaged so severely on October 1, they had to be torn down. Many Monroe residents slept outside, in barns, haystacks or granaries.

Some damage was reported in Richfield, Central and Joseph, Utah. A Richfield man was injured when he was struck by chimney bricks that fell through a ceiling.

Shaking from the main shock and significant aftershocks was felt from Salina, Utah, in the north, south to Marysvale, Utah.



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1962 – Cache Valley, UT – M 5.7

Intermountain Seismic Belt Historical Earthquake Project

August 30, 1962 – Cache Valley, UT – M 5.7

On Thursday, August 30, 1962 at 6:35 a.m., a magnitude 5.7 earthquake occurred at the Utah-Idaho border, north of Richmond, Utah. The earthquake was reported felt in six states: Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado and Nevada.

There were no deaths or serious injuries reported for the earthquake. Severe property damage was reported in the Cache Valley, Utah cities of Richmond, Lewiston and Logan. There were few damage reports outside of Cache Valley, with only minor damage reported at other nearby northern Utah and southern Idaho communities.

In Richmond, reported property damage included cracked and collapsed walls and roofs, roofs broken from falling masonry, broken chimneys, cracked and fallen plaster, and broken windows. One report noted that approximately 75 percent of homes in the city received some damage. Some of these homes required repairs before being inhabitable. Others were damaged so severely they had to be razed. The Benson Stake LDS Tabernacle was damaged severely and was later torn down. North Cache High School was damaged so badly the school had to be closed for repairs.

There were also many homes damaged in the areas of Lewiston, Cornish and Trenton, Utah. Some of the damage in Lewiston included cracked walls, broken windows and roofs damaged from fallen concrete and ornamental brickwork.

In Logan, the earthquake damaged waterlines and disrupted communication lines. A power failure forced the Logan LDS Hospital and police station onto auxiliary power. Service was restored at 9:20 a.m.

Buildings in Logan suffered damage that included cracked walls, collapsed rooms, broken windows, plaster jarred loose, weakened roofs, and entire walls knocked out of plumb or partially off foundations.

Reports from these Cache Valley cities noted that decorative parapet walls on rooftops were hardest hit with many locations where masonry and broken glass fell onto city sidewalks.

A rockslide in Logan Canyon covered Highway 89 in tons of debris. In Cherry Creek Canyon east of Richmond, a large cloud of dust was observed, resulting from a massive earthquake-induced landslide.

Some farmers in upper Cache Valley observed good streams of water flowing in previously dry wells. Some reported that the earthquake appeared to upset both farm livestock and wildlife.



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1949 – Salt Lake City, UT – M 5.0

Intermountain Seismic Belt Historical Earthquake Project

March 6, 1949 – Salt Lake City, UT – M 5.0

Salt Lake City, Utah, experienced a magnitude 5.0 earthquake at 11:50 p.m. on Sunday, March 6, 1949. Some felt reports were received from south Davis County, Utah, but most were isolated to the Salt Lake County.

In Salt Lake County, buildings swayed. Floors and stairs made creaking sounds. At the county jail, iron bars and gates rattled.

Switchboards were flooded with calls. The Salt Lake Tribune reported taking 350 telephone queries in the first 30 minutes of the earthquake.

The shaking awakened some people. Guests on the upper floors of the Hotel Utah and the Newhouse Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City distinctly felt the earthquake, but were not panicked. Startled patrons at Utah Theater and Capitol Theater, walked out of the buildings without alarm. Some people were concerned about aftershocks and preferred to sleep outside.

The earthquake broke a 10-inch city water line, but no other damage to public utilities was reported. Minor damage to one house occurred, as well as a cracked wall in at least one business building. Some windows were broken and at least one chimney was downed. Additional minor damage included a mirror and broken dishes.

No serious property damage and no injuries were reported from this earthquake.



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1909 – Hansel Valley, UT – M 6 ±

Intermountain Seismic Belt Historical Earthquake Project

October 5, 1909 – Hansel Valley, UT – M 6 ±

A magnitude 6 ± earthquake occurred at 7:50 p.m. on October 5, 1909, approximately 25 miles west of Garland, Utah. Shaking from the earthquake was felt over an area of approximately 30,116 mi2 (78,000 km2), extending from southern Idaho to northern Utah County, Utah.

Reports from Preston and Dayton, Idaho noted that the earthquake was accompanied by a distinct rumbling noise. There were reports of considerable damage in Malad, Idaho, though the type and extent of damage were not noted.

In Plymouth, Utah, the shaking frightened people and caused birds to fly from trees. At Duckville, Utah, and other locations in Bear River Valley, Utah, several chimneys were shaken down.

Shaking was felt in some areas of Cache County, Utah, terrifying people, causing some to flee from buildings and causing some to be nauseated. Dishes rattled, water was sloshed from washbasins, and wall hangings were shaken. Windows were broken, but most damage was minor. Lights went out temporarily in Logan, Utah.

The earthquake was strongly felt in Ogden, Utah. In some locations the shaking caused generators and power lines to shut down temporarily. Ogden and other locations in Weber County, Utah, reported that the shaking rattled windows and shook items from shelves. In Ogden, dishes were knocked to the floor, pictures swayed on walls and furniture was moved. The shaking was felt distinctly in upper floors of buildings.

Passengers riding on trains from Brigham City, Utah, to Salt Lake City, Utah, at the time of the earthquake reported feeling the undulations of the earth.

At Saltair Resort on the south shore of the Great Salt Lake, Utah, the resort building swayed and waves of water began rolling over the bathhouse pier. Targets at the shooting range swung back and forth.

Reports from Salt Lake City, Utah, noted that people felt the floors of their houses shift below their feet. Some people fled from buildings. People on streets had trouble walking and experienced nausea. Walls and windows were cracked. Hanging lights swung back and forth, wall pictures were shaken to the floor, dishes rattled and items were shaken from shelves. Shaking was more pronounced in higher stories of buildings. In some areas, electricity was out for several minutes. Telephone operators reported peculiar crackling of telephone wires.

No serious damage was reported and no injuries or deaths were reported for this earthquake.



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1910 – Elsinore, UT – M 5.0

Intermountain Seismic Belt Historical Earthquake Project

January 10, 1910 – Elsinore, UT – M 5.0

In Elsinore, Utah, a magnitude 5.0 earthquake occurred on Monday, January 10, 1910, at 6:00 a.m. Newspaper reports indicated that shaking was felt in the local area for several days.

In Elsinore, the shaking was so severe that children at the local schoolhouse were panic-stricken and school was dismissed. Chimneys were shaken down and goods on store shelves were destroyed. Some people were so alarmed that they evacuated the city. At Lea, Utah, the severe shaking broke windows. And it was reported that considerable damage resulted from the repeated shaking. In Richfield, Utah, it was reported that every house was shaken, but no serious damage to buildings occurred. The shaking displaced dishes and furniture and awakened people. The earthquake was also reported felt in Marysvale, Utah.

One expert believed that while the shaking was severe locally, it was not severe enough to be felt for any distance.



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1989 – So. Wasatch Plateau, UT – M 5.4

Intermountain Seismic Belt Historical Earthquake Project

January 29, 1989 – So. Wasatch Plateau, UT – M 5.4

A magnitude 5.4 earthquake struck the southern Wasatch Plateau approximately 15 miles east southeast of Salina, Sevier County, Utah, at 9:06 p.m. on Sunday, January 29, 1989.

The felt area for the earthquake was 148,000 square kilometers (~57,143 square miles) and extended from northeastern Utah to southwestern Wyoming, western Colorado and northern Arizona.

In Sevier County, Utah, buildings were shaken strongly enough for pictures to come off walls. Minor structural damage was reported. Some telephone service was interrupted in Carbon and Millard Counties. A power plant in Millard County was shut down for short time and another in Emery County had service interrupted briefly.

Officials inspected roads, dams and railways in the areas surrounding the epicenter, but no damage was reported. Interstate 70 was temporarily closed due to a rockslide in Salina Canyon, but was quickly cleared and re-opened.

Calls flooded into Salt Lake Valley and Utah County police agencies reporting shaken homes, swaying light fixtures and moving furniture. One individual in Provo said she was knocked to the floor from the force of the shaking.

No significant damage or injuries were reported for this earthquake.



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1961 – Ephraim, UT – M 5.0

Intermountain Seismic Belt Historical Earthquake Project

April 15, 1961 – Ephraim, UT – M 5.0

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake occurred near Ephraim, Utah at 11:02 p.m. on Saturday, April 15, 1961.

The shaking was most intense at Ephraim and Spring City, Utah. In Ephraim, dishes rattled and light fixtures began to swing. Some buildings sustained cracked walls and bricks were shaken from chimneys. Late night theatergoers at one establishment hurriedly left the building as the earthquake occurred. Reportedly, the greatest damage was to people’s nerves, as they feared more shaking would occur.

Shaking was felt as far north as the towns of Fairview, Moroni, and Fountain Green, Utah and as far south as Manti, Utah.

One person living near Moroni said his dogs began barking, pheasants crowed and flying birds struck windows.

In Manti the shaking was strong enough to awaken some sleeping individuals. Light fixtures swayed and dishes were knocked from shelves. Goods were shaken from store shelves. There was plaster damage to at least one home. Another building sustained a cracked ceiling.

Many who felt the shaking thought their furnaces or water heaters had exploded.



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