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Experts, residents react to earthquake that shook Salt Lake Valley

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Posted at 6:07 PM, Apr 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-20 20:07:04-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- The U.S. Geological Survey reported a magnitude 3.2 earthquake just a few miles northeast of Tooele on Saturday night.

While no immediate damage was reported, it certainly shook quite a few homes.

“It’s scary. I’m glad it was just a minor one,” said Melody Addis, who lives in Erda.

As she and her kids were heading to bed Saturday night, they felt a jolt.

“All of a sudden we just feel this major shaking going on,” said 13-year-old Branden Addis.

According to data from seismic monitors, their home was in the community closest to the epicenter of the quake, which is why they felt so much movement.

“It was really light. It just happened to be in an area where a lot of people live,” said Keith Koper, a seismologist at the University of Utah.

While the quake did not register high on the Richter scale, it was still fairly significant in Koper’s eyes.

“There’s actually a slightly increased probability of a larger earthquake right after a smaller earthquake,” Koper said. “So, for instance, instead of decreasing a probability, it actually raises it just a little bit because there’s always a possibility that it’s a foreshock, and the main shock is still to come. Now, it’s still very unlikely.”

Despite how improbable a large quake may seem, over breakfast at Virg’s restaurant in Erda, you could still hear rumblings of what happened.

“All of a sudden it sounded like they were blowing up the ammunitions at the depot again. It kind of shook a little bit, but it wasn’t really big,” said Jean Proctor, who lives in Tooele.

The elementary school teacher had actually just completed an earthquake safety course with her students a few days prior to Saturday’s quake.

“Extreme coincidence,” Proctor said. “I can’t wait to talk to my students, and ask them if they felt it and review earthquake safety and everything with them.”

For more information on the earthquake, you can review seismic data collected by the University of Utah Seismograph Stations.