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Aftershocks rattle residents on Utah Shakeout Day

4.2 rumbler hit near Magna Thursday morning

SHARE Aftershocks rattle residents on Utah Shakeout Day

Ron Butler and Amy Cornell-Titcomb of the State Emergency Response Team move under a desk during an earthquake drill at the State of Utah Emergency Operations Center in Salt Lake City, Thursday, April 21, 2016.

Ravell Call

SALT LAKE CITY — More than 1,200 aftershocks are continuing to rattle the nerves of Utah communities, including the latest one to hit near Magna Thursday morning — coincidentally on Utah Shakeout Day.

It measured at a magnitude of 4.2, the same strength of an earlier aftershock Tuesday evening. Other much smaller aftershocks registered throughout the day.

“People should know the aftershocks will subside over time,” said Joe Dougherty, spokesman for the Utah Division of Emergency Management. “Everything that has been happening has been in the realm of normal.”

While some folks may be nervous over the aftershocks, Dougherty urged people to remain calm.

“It is just the continued settling of the earth,” and the chance of having a stronger earthquake than the one that happened March 18 near Magna at 5.7 magnitude is less than 1%, he said.

Dougherty also urged residents to do virtual drills Thursday if they can and participate as much as possible in Utah Shakeout Day, which last year drew more than 1 million participants.

The majority of the drills — about 75% — play out in universities and K-12 schools, he said.

This year, 650,000 people signed up to take part in the drills and the state will let people register to participate at any time in the future once social distancing rules are relaxed.

“Mother Nature is apparently participating in the #GreatShakeOut,” the Utah Department of Public Safety tweeted shortly after Thursday’s aftershock. “We had it scheduled for 10:15 today, but who are we to tell Mother Nature what to do?”

Dougherty advised residents to conduct an earthquake risk inspection of their homes by checking for potential objects that could fall or topple over.

“Earthquakes can be powerful and make a terrible mess. A little bit of work now will save a lot of work later,” he said.

For information on the Utah Shakeout, residents can go to shakeout.org/Utah and information on earthquake preparedness can be found at beready.utah.gov.