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Earthquake in Utah

There are many fault lines that run through

Utah, but the one that concerns me the most is
the one that is 230 feet from my house. The
Wasatch Fault Zone, Weber section. Utah since
I was in high school has been preparing for a
huge earthquake that has been pending for a
long time. I remember going to an emergency
preparedness meeting in my neighborhood and
that’s when I learned we are only a few hundred
feet from a fault line.

Science of the Earthquakes

Earthquakes have been around since the earth

has been around it is what has shaped the face
of our earth. We sit on plates that shift and
move. These plates are called Tectonic Plates.
These plates are constantly moving. The areas
where these plates move are the fault lines. As
the plates moves against each other they can
get locked up and build up massive amounts of
potential energy. Once its breaks free from each
other they cause a violent shake (USGS, n.d.)

Geography of the Earthquake

There is a huge fault line all across the Wasatch

front. When an earthquake occurs part of the
foot slope goes up with the mountain and the
other part goes down. This has happened all
along the Wasatch front creating cliffs in what is
called fault scarp, little fractures on the Wasatch
front where mountains were created. The fault is
a 250 mile stretch from north Malad, Idaho all
the way through south of Fayette (Utah
Geological Survey, 2017).

Impacts of the Earthquake

The whole Wasatch front has one in seven chances of getting hit by a 7.0 magnitude
earthquake and if the big one we are all anticipating does happen we could be experiencing
many deaths in the area in the thousands. Reports state that most of the damage will occur at
night. Bob Carey, earthquake preparedness director for the Utah Division of Homeland Security
states that “for instance at 2 a.m., would cause the most casualties: an estimated 2,920 dead,
another 1,480 with life-threatening injuries, another 9,360 with non-life-threatening injuries but
still needing hospitalization, plus 31,430 with "Band-Aid" injuries.” It will sneak up on us during
that time most of us are sleeping. The damage will amount to $34 billion dollars and 38 percent
of buildings will suffer moderate damages (Deseret News, 2010).

Mitigation and preparedness

There are a few things that experts say we can do to prepare for the upcoming disaster. First is
to create a neighborhood and community emergency response team. The reason why is
because police and firefighter as well as paramedics will have an enormous number of things to
deal with already when it occurs. By creating this kind of support in the community members in
the neighborhood/ community can rely on one another for help. Two is have a 72-hour kit (which
now I have heard you may need a 94-hour kit). The disaster may happen and cut you off from
your home and leave you without food or water that you will need if you or your family do not
have access to stores for those things. Note that each person should have their own 94-hour kit,
so rule is one 94 kit/ person. I would also add a plan in case you are separated from family or
friends. Children and adults should exercise an emergency plan in case something disastrous
may happen. Some things may be if the house gets destroyed have at least 3 places where you
and your family can reunite. Having everyone on the same page helps (Deseret News, 2010).


Lisa Wald, USGS, “The Science of Earthquakes” n.d. April 14, 2019

Emily Kleber, Utah Geological Survey, “THE WASATCH FAULT FROM ABOVE: RE-MAPPING
DATA” September 3, 2017,
above/ April 15, 2019

Deseret News, “7.0 earthquake: If the big one hits Utah's Wasatch front”, January 17, 2010,
Wasatch-front.html, April 15 2019