Seismic Activity on the Wasatch Front
Recently, we have witnessed the immense destruction caused by both the earthquake in Chile and most significantly in Haiti. Many people have organized volunteer groups and have dedicated their time to organizing donations to help these people, but it is quite frightening to think that something of the like could one day happen to your home and your city. Most people assume that it could never to them, but the truth is that it could happen to anyone living on or near a fault.
For example, anyone who lives where I live, in Salt Lake City, lives on the Wasatch Front. Many residents know that there is a possibility of earthquake activity, but most do not actively consider being prepared for when it will happen, and it will happen someday. The Wasatch Front is actually the "largest fault of its type in the world." The Wasatch Fault was created because the Earth's crust is being pulled in an east-west direction. While large earthquakes have not occurred very recently, scientists have discovered the places in which they have occurred over many years. One of these places is the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon.
"The earthquake clock, or time interval between earthquakes, for the Wasatch Fault is a very large unknown...The reason for the lack of small to moderate earthquakes is not known. Some faults do have small earthquakes on a fairly regular basis. These frequent small earthquakes may be preventing the build up of large forces (strain) in the rock, thus preventing large earthquakes. There is concern that this is not happening on the Wasatch Fault and thus the fault is "locked" and that a significant amount of strain is building within the rocks which will ultimately result in large earthquakes." The Earthquake Clock on the Wasatch Front
Because the fault is predicted to be "locked," many predict that there will soon be a huge earthquake with a large magnitude. Utahns should take heed to the warnings at home, especially as they are reminded of the imminent danger of earthquakes that have occurred abroad. Here is a general list of things that you should remember and prepare for in advance:
"If you are outside, move away from power lines, trees and buildings.
If you are inside, stay away from windows, mirrors cupboards, and shelves.
Take cover under a sturdy table or desk. Hold on to it.
You can also stand under a doorway, they are one of the strongest foundations of a house.
Be prepared for possible shaking after the main quake.
If you are in a high building, stay out of the elevators and stairways.
A family can prepare for an earthquake by having flashlights, helmets and sturdy shoes, a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, bottled water, canned food and a can opener.
Stay calm." What to Do in Event of an Earthquake