Safety officials try to quash false rumors after earthquake in Utah
SALT LAKE CITY – Emergency officials are pointing the fingers at social media after several false rumors were going around after this morning’s earthquake. They say these rumors caused a lot of unnecessary anxiety, and they want to set the record straight.
A BIGGER QUAKE IS COMING SOON
One of the more prevalent rumors was that the University of Utah seismologists were predicting a massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake to hit the Wasatch Front shortly after the 5.7 magnitude quake that hit northern Utah this morning. Geology and geophysics professor Keith Koper says not only did they not make that prediction, but a quake of that intensity wouldn’t be possible, here.
“The faults that are in Utah are simply not big enough to accommodate a magnitude 9.0,” he says.
— UUSS (@UUSSquake) March 18, 2020
Koper says geological evidence shows the largest quake we could expect in Utah is roughly 7.5 on the Richter scale. He also says there is a small chance that the Wednesday morning quake could be a foreshock to a larger one. However, the chances of that were very small.
Koper says, “There is a slightly increased probability that we could have an earthquake that’s a little bit bigger than a 5.7, but that’s only a few percent probability and it’s going down, with time.”
SHELTER IN PLACE
While there was a chemical spill at a Kennecott facility sparked by the quake, safety officials say the federal government never insisted that people in Salt Lake County “shelter in place.”
Salt Lake City Fire Chief Karl Lieb says, “FEMA is not coming out with that. We are in touch with FEMA and working with the federal government. That is not a narrative, though, that we need to panic about or worry about.”
Lieb also says many people have been given a lot of bad information about what to do after a quake hits. For instance, he says there’s no need to shut off gas lines inside your home unless you either smell or hear a gas leak. Also, he says it’s a bad idea to brace yourself in a doorway while the quake is happening.
“It is actually best to get under a table, a solid surface or a desk,” Lieb says.
THE REFINERIES STOPPED PRODUCTION
If you bought gas this morning, you may have noticed the lines were longer than normal. That’s due to another rumor that spread saying the refineries in Utah, and people needed to buy as much gas as possible before the prices go up. Officials with the Utah Petroleum Association issued a statement saying all of the employees at refineries were safe, and they didn’t expect any significant change in production.
Officials from Chevron also issued a statement…
“The Salt Lake Refinery sustained no known structural damage due to the earthquake the morning of March 18. We maintain and follow robust procedures in the event of a natural disaster, such as an earthquake. These emergency procedures ensure our workforce is accounted for and all structures and equipment are continuing to function as designed. Chevron continues to supply the market and fulfill commitments to our customers.”
- KSL Newsradio: 5.7 magnitude earthquake reported near Magna, shaking felt all over Utah
- KSL Newsradio: Damage reported in Salt Lake City after 5.7 magnitude Magna earthquake
Today’s Top Stories
- GoFundMe created for passing of two employees at Northrop Grumman
- Missing girl from Arizona found in West Valley basement
- US military has shot down the Chinese spy balloon off US East Coast, US official says
- Backcountry skier dead after fatal fall in Little Cottonwood Canyon
- AirMed responds to tubing accident in Peter Sinks, Logan
- Bill permitting pregnant people to use HOV lane passes House
- Utah County men facing charges for defrauding the United States
- More than 3,400 dead as powerful quake hits southern Turkey and Syria
- Two employees found unconscious at Northrop Grumman, died later at hospital
- 2 arrested in central California shooting that left 6 dead, including mother clutching…