ST. GEORGE – A 4.1 earthquake hit at 7:01 a.m. Wednesday morning 8.4 miles northeast of Hanna. The area is 25 miles north and west of Duchesne and 55 miles north and east of Provo.
A second, smaller earthquake measuring 3.0 struck the same area at 7:24 a.m.
Earthquakes are rare in the Uintah Mountains east of the Intermountain seismic belt, according to the U.S. Geological Service, and earthquakes recorded in the area are generally small.
Ground shaking was not expected to be strong.
“However, the stable, underformed bedrock at and near the ground surface over much of the area and neighboring Colorado Plateau to the south causes ground shaking to be felt over a much larger area than for a similar magnitude earthquake in western Utah,” the U.S.G.S earthquake event page states.
In Utah, over 700 earthquakes occur annually, according to data from the University of Utah. However, most are so small that only about 2 percent of them are ever felt.
Southern Utah and its surrounding region is seismically active, and the area has had its share of earthquakes. Quakes measuring 5.0 or above struck Cedar City in 1942, Kanab in 1959 and St. George in 1992.
The 1992 5.6 magnitude earthquake occurred along the Hurricane fault and triggered a large landslide that destroyed three homes in Springdale.
In 1902, an earthquake in Pine Valley estimated at magnitude 6.0 was felt over a wide area from Salt Lake City to St. George. Several distinct shocks were felt in addition to numerous aftershocks. The quake brought down large boulders in the mountains, collapsed ceilings, knocked down chimneys and destroyed a house in Pine Valley.
Earthquakes cannot be accurately forecast; however, preparations can be made in the event that a large quake does strike Southern Utah. A good guide to preparations and what to do in case of a quake is located here.
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