A 5.7-magnitude earthquake struck close to Salt Lake City within the US state of Utah on Wednesday, damaging an iconic Mormon temple and disrupting efforts to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
The shallow quake — Utah’s strongest since 1992 — additionally closed Salt Lake City airport, broken buildings downtown and left tens of 1000’s with out energy.
There have been no instant experiences of accidents or deaths.
The Salt Lake Temple, one of many Mormon Church’s largest and most well-known buildings, sustained harm.
A 12.5-foot (3.81-meter), three-ton copper statue depicting an historic American prophet from the Book of Mormon sitting atop the constructing was broken.
“The trumpet on the Angel Moroni statue fell off, and there is a minor displacement of some of the temple’s smaller spire stones,” mentioned spokesman Daniel Woodruff.
The 16 million-strong Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as it’s formally recognized, is predicated in Salt Lake City.
It had already suspended all public ceremonies and gatherings over the coronavirus pandemic.
The quake additionally introduced down Utah’s coronavirus hotline on account of evacuations on the name heart, in addition to the state’s public well being lab.
The state’s each day coronavirus information convention was cancelled.
“Please stay away from the downtown area while crews assess damage,” tweeted Governor Gary Herbert
Salt Lake City International Airport tweeted that it “is not currently operational,” with the air management tower, terminals and concourses all evacuated.
Rocky Mountain Power mentioned electrical energy to some 55,000 prospects had been knocked out by the quake, which hit at a depth of six miles (10 kilometers), mentioned the US Geological Survey.
The Salt Lake Tribune mentioned there have been experiences of injury to properties and companies.
“This is one of the scariest things I’ve ever gotten through in my entire life,” Griffin Bonacci, who lives in Magna close to the epicenter, advised the newspaper.
“It kept ramping up and ramping up and ramping up. It was like a bomb went off. And then, all of a sudden, stuff all around my house was just falling everywhere.”
The quake was adopted by greater than 25 aftershocks, the strongest registering magnitude 4.4, the USGS mentioned.