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Earthquake and smaller foreshock reported south of Bluffdale

Feb 15, 2019, 5:44 AM | Updated: 1:22 pm

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BLUFFDALE, Utah — The USGS reported a 3.2 magnitude earthquake just after 5 a.m., what they call a foreshock, just minutes before a larger 3.7 magnitude quake about 7 minutes later. Both were centered near Bluffdale.

Geophysicist Robert Sanders from the  USGS joined Utah’s Morning News Friday. He said the quakes that hit the area were shallower, which is to be expected in these smaller quakes in the continental US.

According to the USGS, it appears that the epicenter of the two quakes fell just north of the border between Utah and Salt Lake County along Camp Williams Road. Both of the quakes had a reported depth of 8.8 km (about 5.5 miles), which Sanders says is typical.

The majority of the Wasatch Valley falls along the fault line of the same name, which has acted up in the past and caused some big damage. There have been 16 earthquakes of greater than a 5.5 magnitude since the area was first settled in 1847.

Sanders says that we can’t predict an earthquake in the making and that the two Bluffdale quakes don’t necessarily mean that a bigger one is any more likely any sooner.

Joe Dougherty, a spokesman with the Utah Division of Emergency Management, reminded everyone Friday to make sure and have a plan for what to do if you find yourself in another, bigger earthquake.

“If you’re in bed, stay in bed,” he said, “That’s one of the safest place places for you. Cover yourself with your pillow your blankets, just to make sure your head and neck are covered.”

After everything is done shaking, Dougherty said you should get up and reevaluate your situation: make sure that you’re OK and be aware of any heavy shelving or picture frames, any decorations that could fall and injure you.

The Great Utah Shakeout is a good time for people to think about those things, and that’s coming up in April,” Dougherty said.

More information can be found at The Great Utah Shakeout website.

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Earthquake and smaller foreshock reported south of Bluffdale