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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1910 – Salt Lake City, UT – M 5½ ±

Intermountain Seismic Belt Historical Earthquake Project

May 22, 1910 – Salt Lake City, UT – M 5½ ±

On Sunday, May 22, 1910, at 7:28 a.m. local time, a magnitude 5½ ± earthquake struck Salt Lake City, Utah. At the time, it was the most severe earthquake recorded in the city’s history. Shaking was also distinctly felt in the Utah communities of Tooele, Nephi, Garfield and Bingham; and to a lesser degree in Ogden, Utah.

Frightened people ran from buildings. Some believed that Halley’s Comet had struck the earth. Others thought the end of the world had come. One switchboard in the Salt Lake City reported receiving 5,000 calls in the first 20 minutes of ground shaking. 

There were reports that buildings swayed and houses rocked throughout the city. Light fixtures swung and windows rattled. Books fell from cases, goods were shaken from store shelves, clocks stopped and horses broke out of their stables.

Damage consisted of toppled chimneys, cracked walls and ceilings, falling plaster, and broken mirrors and dishes. The shaking loosened joints in a main gas line, causing severe leaks. One house was damaged when loosened bricks fell through the ceiling.

Though no injuries occurred and damage was minimal, the severe shaking had a sobering effect on the community.



For additional information about this earthquake:

Earthquake Summary 3D Newspaper Articles 3D Additional Resources 3D Blank Thumbnail

For more information about this project:

ISB Hist EQ Proj