/5.7-magnitude earthquake strikes near Salt Lake City knocking out Utahs coronavirus hotline

5.7-magnitude earthquake strikes near Salt Lake City knocking out Utahs coronavirus hotline

This was the state’s largest earthquake since 1992.

A 5.7-magnitude earthquake struck just outside Salt Lake City, Utah, early Wednesday, knocking out the state’s coronavirus hotline, according to the governor.

A temporary COVID-19 information line was set up at 1-844-442-5224.

This was the state’s largest earthquake since 1992, according to Utah Emergency Management.

There are no official reports of injuries, but the Salt Lake City Airport has been knocked out of operation, officials said.

Dr. Scott Williams, a Salt Lake City physician, told ABC News, just after 7 a.m. local time, “my house just started shaking fairly violently. And my first thought was, ‘has a truck gone off the road and is coming into my house?'”

“It lasted about 15, 20 seconds, shaking pretty hard,” he said. “Then I felt swaying for about another 15 seconds.”

Williams added, “we’re all supposed to be social distancing and now we all need to get together and check on each other.”

ESPN reporter Holly Rowe tweeted that she was “shaken out of sound sleep” by the quake.

“We are all safe,” Rowe tweeted. “Please Pray for no further aftershocks. Please pray for all of us.”

Power has been knocked out to 55,000 customers, including at the ABC Salt Lake affiliate KTVX studio, where anchor Brian Carlson said he felt over 20 aftershocks.

Abby Huntsman, former co-host of ABC’s “The View,” told ABC News, “I didn’t expect to be woken up by a 5.7 earthquake. All I could think to do in that moment was to run and grab my sleeping kids. Now we are experiencing several aftershocks.”

“These things are unforgettable, and remind us that while coronavirus is an immediate concern, earthquakes and other natural disasters can be quite dangerous and require families and communities to be prepared,” Huntsman said. “Praying everyone in Utah is OK this morning.”

 

Utah Department of Health employees are being told to not report to any department buildings in the wake of the earthquake, even though the coronavirus pandemic is intensifying.

“Assessments are being made and we will send another alert when buildings are clear to be occupied,” the department tweeted. “If you are currently teleworking or telecommuting, please continue to do so.

The state’s public health lab is also being assessed for damage, halting lab operations.

Salt Lake City schools were already closed due to coronavirus, but because of the quake, district officials said they won’t be able to provide food, laptops or iPads to students Wednesday.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall tweeted, “I know the last thing we need right now is an earthquake.”

“But here we are, and it sounds like aftershocks are likely,” she tweeted. “The City is assessing the situation now and I’ll circle back with an update when I have it. Be safe.”

ABC News’ Jeff Cook and Clayton Sandell contributed to this report.