Utah's on the Top 10 list for
By Jason A. Givens
October 30, 2006 | RICHMOND -- Utah may not seem like
a hotbed of earthquake activity, but it is listed as
one of the top 10 earthquake states by the U.S. Geological
On Aug. 30, 1962, the East Valley fault zone let lose
a magnitude 5.7 earthquake causing an estimated $1 million
damage. It was one of Utah's largest recorded earthquakes.
Richmond was the quake's epicenter, but the quake also
caused significant damage in Franklin, Preston, Lewiston
and Logan. The Small Business Administration declared
Cache County a disaster region.
"Cache Valley is bounded by faults on both sides,"
Tony Crone of the USGS Geologic Hazards team said. "That
area does have the potential for damaging earthquakes."
Crone said the potential magnitude of earthquakes
in this region is high 6s to low 7s. A magnitude which
he said could be of cause for concern to people in the
Valley. He added that the Wasatch Front also has active
faults, and earthquakes from that area could cause damage
in Cache Valley.
The greatest damage from the 1962 earthquake occurred
in Richmond. The University of Utah Seismograph
Stations' Web site provides information on the damage
that the earthquake inflicted, it includes: The knocking
over and displacement of headstones in the cemetery.
The LDS Benson Stake Tabernacle, which was 58 years
old, suffered severe structural damage and had to be
torn down. Also torn down was a recently refurbished
historic home that was once a school house, it was made
uninhabitable causing the family to move out. A woman
was in bed when the east wall of her home fell in. She
managed to escape with only a bruise. Items were shaken
from the shelves of several grocery stores in the valley
and needed several hours of clean-up.
The USGS Web
site said at least nine houses were declared unsafe
and 75 percent of the older brick chimneys fell. The
shock from the quake was felt over an area of approximately
168,000 square kilometers (about 100,800 square miles)
and minor aftershocks, causing minimal additional damage,
were reported through Sept. 9.
The University of Utah's seismograph station was contacted
on Friday for further information about potential earthquake
activity, however they were unable to answer questions
at that time because they said an earthquake had just
occurred and they had to analyze it. The station analyzes
earthquakes for Utah, Yellowstone and the surrounding
For more information about the Richmond or other earthquakes
visit the USGS or the UUSS Web sites.