5.7-magnitude quake hits US state of Utah

Washington, March 19 (IANS) An earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale hit the US state of Utah, authorities said, adding that there were reports of any casualty.

The quake struck on Wednesday morning near Magna, a Metro Township with over 26,000 residents located about 23 km east of Salt Lake City, the state capital, reports Xinhua news agency.

As a result of the temblor, 50,000 people in nearby areas were without any electricity and the state's coronavirus hotline was cut down.

The epicenter of the earthquake was 6 km northwest of Magna.

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson said told the media that power outages, gas leaks and instances of building damage had been reported.

“We are advising the public to stay off the roads. We want you to shelter in place to allow the emergency crews to do their jobs.”

Magna Metro Township had declared a state of emergency, saying “this earthquake has caused damages to property and displaced residents in the municipality”.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall tweeted: “I know the last thing we need right now is an earthquake. But here we are, and it sounds like aftershocks are likely. The City is assessing the situation now and I'll circle back with an update when I have it. Be safe.”

Besides the coronavirus hotline, Utah's public health lab was being assessed for damage after the earthquake and halted lab operations.

The Utah Division of Emergency Management said that Wednesday's quake was the largest to hit the state since 1992.



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