Earthquake updates

Earthquake updates

Updated: March 19, 2020, 12:42 p.m.

All campus buildings cleared for occupancy

All campus buildings have been cleared for occupancy. Note: Many buildings may be closed related to COVID-19 because of staffing and cleaning, but not because of damage related to the earthquake.


Updated: March 19, 2020, 11:20 a.m.

  • The Browning building is closed to occupancy until further notice as they evaluate structural damage.
  • The campus store has reopened now that the water issue has been resolved.
  • The health care facilities that had closed due to potential natural gas leaks have been reopened.
  • Buildings may still be closed related to COVID-19 because of staffing and cleaning, but not because of damage related to the earthquake.

Updated: March 18, 2020, 4:57 p.m.


Updated: March 18, 2020, 2:22 p.m.

  • Teams have completed assessments of all campus buildings. No injuries have been reported and all campus utilities (power, water and gas) are functioning normally.
  • While some buildings on campus have external cosmetic damage the only campus building closed to occupancy until further notice is the Browning Building (WBB, building 11). The campus store is closed temporarily due to a water issue.
  • Additional information about University of Utah Health building closures and patient care is available at here.
  • Student and family housing units have been cleared for occupancy.
  • All online classes will resume tomorrow.
  • Further updates, if necessary, will be posted on alert.utah.edu.

Updated: March 18, 2020, 11:21 a.m.

  • There is no currently accepted scientific method for predicting the precise time, location and magnitude of future earthquakes
  • Based on past earthquake sequences around the world there is a small, about 1 in 20 chance of an earthquake larger than a magnitude 5.7 in the Salt Lake Valley area during the next week.
  • Although it is possible a larger earthquake in this area could be in the magnitude range of 7.0 to 7.5, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the chance of an earthquake of this size about one in 300. Earthquakes of magnitude larger than 7.5 are unlikely to occur in Utah. A magnitude 9.0 earthquake is not possible in Utah.
  • Full USSS media briefing available here.

Updated: March 18, 2020, 9:45 a.m.

All University of Utah classes (including online instruction) are canceled today in light of disruptions arising from today’s earthquake.

Trained emergency teams are conducting rapid damage assessments of all university buildings. Updates on the status of buildings will be posted at alert.utah.edu.

Employees who do not have a reason to be on campus (excluding public safety, facilities and University of Utah Health) are encouraged to not come to campus. Crews are working on a gas leak at the Madsen Health Center and evaluating structural damage at the Sugarhouse Health Center. Those buildings are currently closed.