5.7-magnitude quake hits U.S. state of Utah

2020-03-19 06:05:00Xinhua Editor : Wang Fan ECNS App Download

An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.7 occurred at 07:09:31 a.m. Wednesday local time (13:09:31 GMT) near Magna, a town in U.S. western state of Utah, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

No deaths were reported as a result of the earthquake, but power was knocked out to 50,000 people in nearby areas and the state's coronavirus hotline was cut down.

Magna, a Metro Township in Salt Lake County with over 26,000 residents, is located about 23 km east of Salt Lake City, capital of the state. The epicenter of the earthquake was 6 km northwest of Magna.

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson said in a news conference four hours after the earthquake that power outages, gas leaks and instances of building damage had been reported. "We are advising the public to stay off the roads. We want you to shelter in place to allow the emergency crews to do their jobs."

Magna Metro Township had declared a state of emergency, saying "this earthquake has caused damages to property and displaced residents in the municipality."

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall tweeted: "I know the last thing we need right now is an earthquake. But here we are, and it sounds like aftershocks are likely. The City is assessing the situation now and I'll circle back with an update when I have it. Be safe."

Besides the coronavirus hotline, Utah's public health lab was being assessed for damage after the earthquake and halted lab operations.

The Utah Division of Emergency Management said that Wednesday's quake was the largest to hit the state since 1992 and it is very likely people will be feeling aftershocks throughout Wednesday.


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