Real Shaking with Earthquake in Hyrum, Utah

earthquake-in-hyrum-utahIs this a bit or irony or just a dose of reality? Yesterday was the Great Shakeout 2013. It marked the 6th anniversary of the world’s largest annual earthquake preparedness drill. In Utah’s Cache Valley, there was a real earthquake in Hyrum, Utah felt literally just 2 minutes after this planned, staged event.

25 million men, women, and children around the world were registered to take part in the Great Shakeout yesterday morning. No matter which of the United States or which country they called home, at 10:17 a.m. their local time, participants in the earthquake preparedness drill were to rehearse what they should do in the event of a major earthquake.

At 10:19 a.m. yesterday just two minutes after the 2013 Great Shakeout, a 3.6 magnitude earthquake in Hyrum, Utah happened in the mountains about 7 miles east of the town in Northern Utah’s Cache Valley (about 80 miles north of Salt Lake City). It was reported to have a depth greater than 7 miles. This earthquake in Hyrum, Utah was one of 4 measured in the Cache valley in just the past two days. The day before there was a 2.4 magnitude earthquake which hit east of the town, Avon, near the Little Bear River east of the Porcupine Reservoir.

The area where the earthquake in Hyrum, Utah occurred is just east of what is known as the East Cache Fault Zone. This specific region in Northern Utah is part of a larger zone known as the Intermountain Seismic Belt and Wasatch Fault.

So far no reports of major damage have been made public, but many  residents have shared their experiences of how they felt the 3.6 earthquake in Hyrum, Utah. Some shared how their doors, mirrors, and blinds shook in a sensation which was described as a sudden rolling feeling. Local reports say some of those who felt the earthquake originally believed the tremors were caused by workers using large construction equipment nearby. Quickly, word spread across Utah it was Mother earth’s equipment, not contractors.  We’ll share some of the post-earthquake comments here:

From Hyrum, Utah:

A person with the user name @CORYplaysBASS posted this comment on Twitter: “My mom lives in Hyrum and said it sounded like a car hit her house.”

Someone else said, “It was very loud. I was sitting on the couch and it felt like our house was shifting, like it lifted up and moved.”

From Providence, Utah:

“It felt like a big sonic boom went right over our house…twice!”

“I thought that someone ran into my house. It was a big thug.”

Charlene Noack said she heard what she described as a “whooshing sound” just before the earthquake. Then she said, “It felt like my house lifted up and I heard a big crack.”

From Logan, Utah:

“I was at home. I woke up to a creaking and strange shaking of our condo. It lasted for a few seconds. My first noticeable earthquake!”

“I was working in the office when I felt the floor shake. I thought it was an earthquake or someone downstairs hitting a post with a forklift.”

“I was at work. I could feel the ground move. I heard boxes rattling and the steel in the roof shifting. At first I wondered, ’How bad is this going to get?’ Then when it was over, I thought, ‘Huh, that was pretty cool.’”

“I was in a meeting on the Utah State University campus. We all felt it and heard a soft rumble. We all looked at each other and said ‘Earthquake.’”

Finally, here may be the most poetic comment of all from a student at Utah State University: “I was sitting in class in the Geology Building, and I asked, “Was that an earthquake?”

Once again, yesterday’s earthquake in Hyrum, Utah shows truth may be stranger than fiction. So don’t let anyone tell you it’s strange to be ready with earthquake preparedness food. Whenever a major quake happens, homes, office buildings, supermarkets, and people are more than just shaken.

by Thomas Baldrick

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