My First Big Utah Earthquake

Photo by NOAA on Unsplash

I have lived in Utah for most of my life and only felt tiny tremors that I usually associate with dynamite blasts. There is a military testing site nearby that can sometimes cause shaking in the house.

When I lived in Blanding, Utah as a preteen to young adult, I never noticed any earth tremors. I heard that there was an earthquake in 1905 from my Young Women’s leader. Her home had structural damage dating from then. It was cool to see a little bit of history.

I have lived in North Utah County for the last 9 years. I have felt tiny tremors that I thought might be earthquakes. But I never really knew until other people mentioned on Facebook that they were earthquakes. It really didn’t affect many at such low levels. A picture might fall.

Today felt different. It was a bigger earthquake than I ever felt before. I noted the time of 7:10 am after it ended. The earthquake took place at 7:09. I fell back asleep since I knew it probably wouldn’t be a big deal. None of the other tremors had been. I looked at the news when I woke up later.

It was a 5.7 earthquake four miles away from Magna, Utah. That’s the biggest earthquake Utah has had since 1992. I contacted my brother and parents who live closer to Magna in Salt Lake Valley. I asked if they were okay. My brother said they were okay. I was relieved. I doubted much would happen, but I didn’t know. My brother and parents used to live in Magna, Utah. I felt very glad that they moved away a few years ago.

Unfortunately, my husband’s relatives live closer. They had some minor damage, but still scary. I contacted his aunt to see if there was anything they needed. Right as we were texting, I felt an aftershock around 1:10. She said that she had been feeling aftershocks throughout the day.

I talked with my husband where he was during the morning earthquake. Apparently, he was on the bathroom throne. He felt very exposed and frightened. Being on the toilet, stuck with your pants down, would be a terrible place if the building fell.

On Facebook, I saw various neighbors, friends, and relatives reactions. Anyone from California shared their wisdom of surviving earthquakes. They gave useful advice while the rest of us are thinking of standing in doorways.

I feel like the earth is angry today. It is an odd feeling. I have never been in a natural disaster, so it feels weird. I wonder if Mother Earth has a message for us.

My family and I read from the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Natural disasters are mentioned as a sign of the times. Albeit, natural disasters have always happened. But this put in my mind prophets warning the people. In the Bible and the Book of Mormon, the narrators summarize how the natural disasters were a result of people’s sins. It made me think: Is this due to a sin? Are we sinning in Utah?

I thought of a possible warning:

Thus saith the Lord: Henceforth, cease from thy selfishness. Share with thy neighbor like unto thyself. In times of trouble, let everyone have their toilet paper.




I love language and believe every word is a poem. I majored in English language from BYU. I am a mom to four rambunctious boys. I have bipolar disorder too.

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Eileen Davis

Eileen Davis

I love language and believe every word is a poem. I majored in English language from BYU. I am a mom to four rambunctious boys. I have bipolar disorder too.

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