LDS Temple in Salt Lake City

Earthquake Rattles Salt Lake City, Damages Iconic Temple

  March 20, 2020

By Dan Hounsell

As if the coronavirus isn’t enough.

In the midst of a global pandemic rapidly unfolding with a host of unforeseen consequences, one U.S. city also recently had its emergency preparedness put to the test by a major crisis that wreaked havoc on residents, facilities and infrastructure. 

The largest earthquake to hit Utah in 28 years rocked the state just after 7 a.m. local time on March 18, according to KLS. The U.S. Geological Survey initially reported the 5.7-magnitude quake hit just northeast of Magna, which is just west of Salt Lake City, about 7:09 a.m.

Classes were cancelled at the University of Utah, and about 40,000 people were without power. The iconic 250,000-square-foot Salt Lake Temple in Salt Lake City also sustained damage.

The temple, “which is undergoing a seismic upgrade, sustained some minor damage during Wednesday morning’s earthquake,” according to a statement from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “The trumpet on the Angel Moroni statue fell off, and there is minor displacement of some of the temple’s smaller spire stones. 

“No workers were injured. Crews on the job site have been sent home for the day, and a full assessment is underway to determine needs going forward. This event emphasizes why this project is so necessary to preserve this historic building and create a safer environment for all our patrons and visitors.”

Dan Hounsell is editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions.



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