(SALT LAKE CITY) — A 5.7-magnitude earthquake struck just outside Salt Lake City, Utah, early Wednesday, knocking out the state’s coronavirus hotline, according to the governor.
This was the state’s largest earthquake since 1992, according to Utah Emergency Management.
— Gov. Gary Herbert (@GovHerbert) March 18, 2020
There are no official reports of injuries, but the Salt Lake City Airport has been knocked out of operation, officials said.
Just felt the first earthquake of my life. That was crazy. pic.twitter.com/aWew7EOrIt
— Dave Noriega (@davenoriega) March 18, 2020
Dr. Scott Williams, a Salt Lake City physician, told ABC News, just after 7 a.m. local time, “my house just started shaking fairly violently. And my first thought was, ‘has a truck gone off the road and is coming into my house?'”
“It lasted about 15, 20 seconds, shaking pretty hard,” he said. “Then I felt swaying for about another 15 seconds.”
Williams added, “we’re all supposed to be social distancing and now we all need to get together and check on each other.”
ESPN reporter Holly Rowe tweeted that she was “just shaken out of sound sleep by 5.7 earthquake in Salt Lake City.”
“We are all safe,” Rowe tweeted. “Please Pray for no further aftershocks. Please pray for all of us.”
Just shaken out of sound sleep by 5.7 earthquake in Salt Lake City. We are all safe. Please Pray for no further aftershocks. Please pray for all of us.
— Holly Rowe (@sportsiren) March 18, 2020
Kierra Dotson, digital news manager at ABC Salt Lake affiliate KTVX, tweeted that she was at the airport when the quake hit.
Dotson noted that she didn’t see any injuries or damage but that she was feeling aftershocks.
An early warning for earthquakes? There’s an app for that.
Power has been knocked out to 55,000 customers, including at the ABC Salt Lake affiliate KTVX studio, where anchor Brian Carlson said he felt over 20 aftershocks.
Abby Huntsman, former co-host of ABC’s “The View,” told ABC News, “I didn’t expect to be woken up by a 5.7 earthquake. All I could think to do in that moment was to run and grab my sleeping kids. Now we are experiencing several aftershocks.”
“These things are unforgettable, and remind us that while coronavirus is an immediate concern, earthquakes and other natural disasters can be quite dangerous and require families and communities to be prepared,” Huntsman said. “Praying everyone in Utah is OK this morning.”
— Sara Turner (@Mrs_Cha24) March 18, 2020
Utah Department of Health employees are being told to not report to any department buildings in the wake of the earthquake, even though the coronavirus pandemic is intensifying.
“Assessments are being made and we will send another alert when buildings are clear to be occupied,” the department tweeted. “If you are currently teleworking or telecommuting, please continue to do so.
The state’s public health lab is also being assessed for damage, halting lab operations.
Salt Lake City schools were already closed due to coronavirus, but because of the quake, district officials said they won’t be able to provide food, laptops or iPads to students Wednesday.
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall tweeted, amid the coronavirus outbreak, “I know the last thing we need right now is an earthquake.”
“But here we are, and it sounds like aftershocks are likely,” she tweeted. “The City is assessing the situation now and I’ll circle back with an update when I have it. Be safe.”
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. #utpol #slc
— SLC Mayor Erin Mendenhall (@slcmayor) March 18, 2020
It is very likely that you will feel aftershocks today.
— Utah Emergency Mgmt (@UtahEmergency) March 18, 2020
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