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Red Cross: Small Utah earthquake cluster 'wake-up call' for prep

Published February 8, 2013 1:09 pm

South-central Utah • Cluster of 'micro-quakes' rattles Cedar City area.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A recent cluster of earthquake activity in south-central Utah prompted the Red Cross on Friday to issue warnings to Utahns to make emergency preparations and planning a priority.

Logan Sisam, Utah Region director of emergency services for the American Red Cross, called the trio of Thursday afternoon shakers "an important wake-up call," though the temblors registered as minor in magnitude and caused no damage — but were reported felt throughout the Iron County area.

Three of the eight quakes, with an epicenter 9 miles northwest of Cedar City, were recorded between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. Thursday at magnitudes of 2.0, 3.1 and 3.5, according to the University of Utah Seismograph Stations. A quake measuring 3.7 was recorded about 7:46 p.m. with an epicenter 9 miles northwest of Enoch, followed by a 2.8-magnitude "micro quake" at 8:19 p.m.

Seismic experts have long warned that major urban areas, particularly along the Wasatch Front, are at risk for a major future earthquake.

"Had it been a major quake, tens of thousands of Utahns would likely be without shelter and life-sustaining necessities. Our kids. Our friends and neighbors. Preparing now should be a major priority for all of us," Sisam said.

He stressed the importance of keeping emergency survival and first aid kits both at home and in vehicles, and to make sure family members know where to meet up following a disaster.

The Red Cross offers free preparedness apps for smart phones that provide alerts, important preparedness information, and one-touch "I'm safe" messaging.

remims@sltrib.com