1,600+ earthquakes shake SE Idaho

Swarm started Sept. 2 with 5.3 quake

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah)  More than 1,600 earthquakes have rattled Soda Springs, Idaho, just north of the Utah border. Seismologists report at least 20 of them were above 4.0 magnitude.  

The swarm in SE Idaho started September 2 with a magnitude 5.3 that was felt as far as Provo. 

"It's a little bit more energetic than a normal sequence," University of Utah Seismologist Keith Koper said. 

The seismographs at the University of Utah have been unusually active tracking a once in decade earthquake event.

Engineers with six temporary seismometers have been deployed to better study the activity. Koper expects the shaking to continue for a couple of weeks. 

"Even a magnitude 5 can cause damage. It can cause buildings to fail, it can cause strong shaking," Koper said. 

The quakes have caused little damage and no injuries or deaths have been reported, according to Koper. 

While the shaking unsettles Utahns who have felt the larger quakes, Koper assured it's nothing to worry about, since the fault doesn't come into Utah.  

"This sequence is likely to stay in Idaho. It is not likely to migrate down to Utah. But it is basically the type of earthquake that we could have along the Wasatch," Koper said.

"I don't think that there is anybody who thinks that there is a much larger event immediately coming," Utah Earthquake Program Manager Bob Carey said. 

Carey hopes the shaking ground reminds Utahns we're overdue for the next "Big One." 

"Always getting your ducks in a row will always be a good thing to do," Carey said.  

For information on earthquake preparedness, click here


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