7.0 earthquake: If the big one hits Utah's Wasatch front

Utah could see thousands dead, survivors without power, water, phones

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  • be prepared
    April 10, 2010 6:49 p.m.

    At least we know how, and why, we need to be prepared in order to protect us and our children! if one morning you were told that you had a 1:7 chance of getting in a possibly fatal car accident, or a 1:7 chance of geeting skin cancer, would you maybe put on your seatbelt? or wear sunscreen? Come on!?!? are you serious? You've been warned!You all are going to be the ones whining about all things you lost and "ugh, nobody told us!!!!", ect. ect. ect., blah blah blah... I just hope I'm not the one who has to sit next to you idiots while you do it.
    Incase you havent heard of Great basin and Range, the western US IS STILL SPREADING and the wasatch fault has been ACTIVE for 15million years and just because there hasnt been an earthquake in your lifetime DOESN'T mean you're in the clear!

  • Old Utahn
    March 19, 2010 2:41 p.m.

    Have a friend that is a geologist and a seismologist that continually warns about the "big one" on the Wasatch that happens about every 400 years, "We're overdue!"

    One day while driving US-89 above Layton I pointed out a seemingly unbalanced rock formation on the mountain and asked him how long it took to form. He said; "Oh, probably 10 or 20,000 years." My next question was never answered.

    "Why didn't that ledge collapse in one of the many "big ones" that should have occurred during that time?"

    I have no doubt that it may, and probably will happen, and being prepared is always good, BUT - personally I'm not going to spend a lot of time worrying because we're all here on a temporary basis and this earth will do what it wants when it wants.

  • taylor
    Feb. 28, 2010 10:20 a.m.

    when is the earthquake going to hit Utah my Cousin is freaking out!!!

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 11, 2010 4:11 p.m.

    The earthquake in Haiti was horrible. They also have a less earthquake safe area. I believe this quake will cause damage but not as devistating as the earthquake in Haiti

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 6, 2010 9:03 a.m.

    I live in Utah county and so if the earthquake does hit then I will feel it. So any tips?

  • alan
    Feb. 4, 2010 4:18 p.m.

    when is the earthquake going to hit utah

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 26, 2010 8:07 p.m.

    Yes, we need to be prepared but lately, I have read a lot of things that we shouldn't teach our kids to hide under things. They teach them to hide under there desk at school. I think the school also need to be prepared.

  • MLSB
    Jan. 22, 2010 11:02 a.m.

    Could you provide lists of items needed to be prepared for emergencies this site? The lists in the newspaper were great, but I would like to print them out to use for a more convenient check list.

  • D
    Jan. 21, 2010 3:07 p.m.

    Salt Lake city will have a large earth quake its just a matter of time.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 20, 2010 7:39 a.m.

    I have a baby and to me 1 in a million chance is still to high for me. I plan to put a first aid kit in my house and in my car, with it some blankets, can food, water, baby formula (lots of nutients), a prepaid phone, a baby toy, and anything else that I might think of. I only hope that I am with my baby when or if it does happen, and I hope I could keep him safe.

  • Sleuth
    Jan. 18, 2010 12:48 p.m.

    This article lacks the detailed impact a strong quake hitting absolutely unprepared Utah can cause. I’ve worked 4 major quakes in the last 20 years, doing over 1000 remediations, assisting authorities and catastrophic adjusters in evaluating the effects of quake damage. I also directed remediation (real property, structural, geotechnical) for the same. In each quake I worked, an actual series of devastating developments occurred like clockwork. Without living through these events, one is at a loss its adverse corollary.

    Businesses are interrupted and resources are scarce. Innocents die and are injured. Mass public psychologies scramble hysterically. Residents, commercial tenants exhibit chronic phobias, refusing to enter or inhabit buildings. Aftershocks cause many to refuse to return to their homes and short sell them. Personal property is lost or destroyed. Real property structures are condemned by authorities and service and occupancy denied until such are brought fully compliant with new, stricter codes. Engineers, contractors, inspectors are scarce. Post-facto, emergency building regulations hassle. Insurers become bitterly harsh. Life overall becomes miserable, expensive and frustrating if you live.

    As the late Frank Zappa sang, "It can happen here baby, because I've been checking out."

  • Be Prepared
    Jan. 18, 2010 3:36 a.m.

    the Scout motto is very appropriate here. Everything we do in life includes playing the odds. What are the odds that we will get hit in traffic? What are the odds that we will get cancer?
    We have insurance, just in case.
    We wear seat belts, just in case.
    We wear helmets, just in case.
    We wear coats, if it might get colder, just in case.
    We don't smoke, to improve the odds.
    We don't drive drunk, to improve the odds.
    You, who laugh at wanting to be prepared are the ones we, who are prepared, will be helping, because you are too arrogant to recognize that you cnanot control the possibilities.

  • Holy Humility
    Jan. 17, 2010 10:37 p.m.

    Ignorance and arrogance, arrogance and ignorance. Just swallow a humble pill and get prepared. Better safe than sorry.

    In Michagan, there was a giant blizzard. It dumped 44 in. of snow in three hours, winds of 90 mph. The people there where prepared because "the big one" could happen at any time. The news channels didn't cover it because the people were so well prepared they didn't need outside help. I don't like to scare people into things because it doesn't work.

    Why are so many in denial? The Wasatch Front is on a fault line. You can't avoid it or pretend it isn't there. Accept it and live with it. And as a boy scout, I must say, Be Prepared. Ha Ha Just kidding but seriously.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 17, 2010 9:40 p.m.

    Although the chance is small that something will happen, its at least good to be prepared for that chance. What does it hurt to do a little extra to protect yourself? It might just end up helping you if something else happens like a house fire. I know that I was glad we were prepared for the worst when my house burned.

  • Jordan T.
    Jan. 17, 2010 3:45 p.m.

    If and when the big earthquake hits all along the Wasatch Front, rest assured we'll have Barack Obama front and center doing his thing on the teleprompter with Sarah Palin at his side, saying, "You betcha! That's what you all get for going rogue!"

  • Glass Half Full
    Jan. 17, 2010 3:26 p.m.

    1 in 7 chance, child please! Also means there is an 85.7% chance that NOTHING will happen in the next 50.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 17, 2010 3:25 p.m.

    . Don't worry though, they didn't mention any damage to Utah County, Weber County, or Davis County either.

    The counties mentioned would suffer severe if not total devastation just as Salt Lake would

  • edd
    Jan. 17, 2010 2:36 p.m.


  • Wyoming reader
    Jan. 17, 2010 2:25 p.m.

    I was born in SLC and grew up along the Wasatch Front and only remember experiencing one small quake in the early 80's. This article is a good reminder to me to get my emergency supplies in order. Of course, now that I live near Yellowstone, if there's a big quake up here, I'm toast. But it can't hurt to be prepared, and this article reminds me I need to start.

  • Maybe NO ONE can come to help
    Jan. 17, 2010 1:31 p.m.

    I liked the article, and I liked the parts mentioned (and echoed by some posters here) that we should be ready to realize that if this--or any other major disaster happen-- that HELP MAY NOT BE COMING FOR AWHILE.

    So we should get to the mind set of that.

    So many in Katrina (and now in Haiti) when interviewed said, Nobody is coming, no one is helping us, no one is doing anything, no one came to save up or bring us anything.

    Maybe now is the time to program that possibility/probability in our minds:

    Nobody is coming, so we are going to have to manage on our own.

  • Chad S
    Jan. 17, 2010 1:27 p.m.

    The earthquake in Haiti was Bush's fault. The Big One in SLC will be Obama's fault. Everyone will blame the FEMA and Fed Govt for doing nothing. Nobody will blame themselves for failing to prepare.

    Be prepared. Do a good turn daily.

    Quit relying on the government to do everything for you.

  • Re: Not about us
    Jan. 17, 2010 1:26 p.m.

    I go home every day. You make it sound like it's a bad thing.

  • Not about us today
    Jan. 17, 2010 12:13 p.m.

    Right now is about Haiti, not about the US. If we are following the counsel of our leaders, we will be prepared. If it's our time to be called home, we'll be called hom. We hear about physical and spiritual preparation over and over again. I think it's a little Utah-centric of Des News to run this article now when our thoughts and prayers should focus on God's children in Haiti. Anybody w/ half a brain can draw the conclusions presented in this article on their own w/ no help from Des News.

  • John
    Jan. 17, 2010 11:53 a.m.

    Yea, I have to agree. Obama can just make earthquakes against the law, and raise taxes to cover the enforcement. There is nothing to worry about.

    He can do anything. Its really good to have god in charge of our country. Makes everyone a whole lot safer, and happier.

    Your emergency supplies will be buried in the rubble, so what is the point again? Just wait outside your crumbled home, and the government will send someone to give you all you need to get back to normal so fast you won't even have time to get cold if its in the winter. No worries. They have it all under control. Don't forget to call 911 to report the earthquake, in case they don't notice it.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 17, 2010 10:06 a.m.

    Good article. It helps us remember to be prepared. People often think that disasters, while horrible, always just happen to "someone else". Guess what, to other people we are "someone else". To the people in Haiti, we are "someone else". It could (and sounds like quite possibly will) happen in Utah.

  • Obama could fix it!
    Jan. 17, 2010 10:01 a.m.

    Why don't we just ask Obama to set some goals about not having any earthquakes in the next 50 years just like he and his friends set a goal to to not let the earth's temperature rise 2 degrees (or something like that) in the next decade or so (I don't remember the exact goal)? I mean, if they can control the natural changes in the earth's climate, they should be able to stop earthquakes too.

  • probably not!
    Jan. 17, 2010 10:00 a.m.

    Did Obama give aid to the ones where the 6.5 earthquake that hit offshore northern California a week ago?
    Probably not!

  • nostradomis
    Jan. 17, 2010 9:57 a.m.

    I think it's important for everyone to be prepared for any natural disaster. Although I dislike scare tactics, they don't motivate me, they immobilize me. It seems to me that a 1 in 7 chance over the next 50 years is like a next to none or never going to happen. Earthquake predicting has to be the most vague inexact science there is. We all should have lots of water and food storage, ect. ect. for come what may, but 1 in 7 in the next 50 come on what a guesstimate.

  • Buck up
    Jan. 17, 2010 9:53 a.m.

    And be prepared - no matter what the catastrophe. SLC isn't in the plain states, yet it had a tornado. Just do it. Get your house in order, and all will be fine.

  • Dave in Taylorsville now
    Jan. 17, 2010 9:52 a.m.

    Hey Helper!

    If the "Big One" hits up there and spares us here in the Big City; don't fear, we'll be up there to help you out.

    Hope you do the same for us.

    I am impressed up front with this article that finally, FINALLY, someone mentions that if the "Big One" hits in the frozen winter that it will be much MUCH worse than in the spring/summer/fall. All the Channel 2 coverage in the past ignored this topic.

    Have your blankies ready kids!

  • And....
    Jan. 17, 2010 9:47 a.m.

    Blah, blah, blah. Fear, fear, fear.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 17, 2010 9:46 a.m.

    Re anonymous 5:51 a.m.:

    Salt Lake County likes to put itself at the center of the universe. If they talk about themselves, they can make the damage look greater. Helper is too insignificant to talk about. Don't worry though, they didn't mention any damage to Utah County, Weber County, or Davis County either. They might just feel a little shaking similar to that of a sonic boom. The segment most likely to fail is the Brigham City segment.

  • PLEASE...
    Jan. 17, 2010 9:23 a.m.

    I'm 33 and I've been hearing about the "Big One" for my whole life. It'll never come.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 17, 2010 9:14 a.m.

    they have been saying that there was a chance of an earthquake in the next fifty yeas since I was little and I am over 50

  • Yeah, right
    Jan. 17, 2010 9:04 a.m.

    Not only has this story been repeated ad nauseum, but it continues to increase in danger and scope. What is really confusing to me, is if this Wasatch fault line is as seemingly potent as the San Andreas, why is the plan to deal with rescue/reponse only in its infancy stage and planning to be rolled out in 2012? BO could have done this in about an hour.

  • rockOn
    Jan. 17, 2010 8:11 a.m.

    Good article, Lee. We need to constantly be aware of what's around us. This personalizes the Haiti disaster... could happen here. We need to be prepared.

    Those living on the alluvial fans (where the homes are built on the silt that has flowed out of the canyons for eons are in great danger when the shaking turns those fans to mush and homes sink) need good escape routes and plans for providing for food and shelter as their homes will likely be destroyed.

  • Bill
    Jan. 17, 2010 7:07 a.m.

    HELP - whay is the article headline "If the big one hits..." It WILL come, we just don't know when.

    D News, please be careful about this.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 17, 2010 5:51 a.m.

    Hey, what about Helper.. we're in the fault line too.. aren't we? What would happen here? I mean really. All anyone talks about is Salt Lake getting the "big one". The big one could come here first you know. Write an article about Helper too.

  • Kevin
    Jan. 17, 2010 5:49 a.m.

    Excellent article. A few other considerations. What could happen to the snow pack? What could happen at ski resorts? What could happen to the thousands of miles of mining era tunnels, shoots, and stopes? You could dedicate an entire article just to that.

  • LuVpacifica,Wasatch Region,
    Jan. 17, 2010 1:02 a.m.

    This no game of tennis this a
    Demision of DOMINOS....
    And were due for one of these
    gather up a Emergency KIt!

  • Dear Don
    Jan. 16, 2010 11:13 p.m.

    I grew up in Southern California, and while growing up, I experienced several large earthquakes that were 6.0 or higher - We were prepared by repetitive news stories and preparedness... Don't be an idiot, knowing this stuff will keep you alive when it DOES happen.

  • Re: RE: Anonymous
    Jan. 16, 2010 10:59 p.m.


  • RE: Anonymous
    Jan. 16, 2010 10:53 p.m.

    No one cares about WSU. Are they in the BCS? Just get your supplies ready for a disaster. That's all the article is saying. It doesn't need to mention the name of every city and town in the intermountain west for it to be a good article. It's not discriminating. Nobody in Helper is complaining.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 16, 2010 10:39 p.m.

    Once again aonther story that only includes the Salt City and south what about the Fault line the run right through the WSU up north along their bench line

  • Annie
    Jan. 16, 2010 9:27 p.m.

    I live in the Seattle area, and I find this article incredibly helpful. I feel motivated by it to be better prepared for anything. For example, I have some water saved, but it wouldn't hurt to save some more. It's time to round up those emergency items I have all over the house and store them together in a more accessible place. I'm starting to understand that in an emergency, we might very well need to depend on ourselves and look out for our neighbors for a while. Thanks for publishing this helpful story.

  • Hey, Don
    Jan. 16, 2010 9:24 p.m.

    When and if it hits, hope you are prepared. These events should serve as reminders to all of us to do what we can to mitigate the damage and prepare for taking care of ourselves for a period of time.

  • Don
    Jan. 16, 2010 9:14 p.m.

    Here's a non-news story that gets repeated ad nauseum.