ENOCH, Iron County — The sixth earthquake of the day shook Enoch Thursday evening, about seven hours after the first occurred.
The series of earthquakes caused no immediate damage, but left some residents feeling surprised.
The earthquakes, rated between 2.0 and 3.7 magnitudes by the University of Utah Seismograph Station, occurred Thursday between 12:29 p.m. and 7:47 p.m. There was also a 2.7-magnitude quake reported in the area on Wednesday.
Research seismologist Katherine Whidden said the increasing magnitude of the earthquakes over time is unusual, but not unheard of.
"It's not as common as one big earthquake with aftershocks afterwards, but there are cases where there are foreshocks — a series of smaller earthquakes that lead up to a big one," she said. "It definitely happens."
Whidden said there are about eight earthquakes in the state per year with a magnitude of three or greater. Along the Wasatch Front, there are about three a year. Earthquakes of that size are not typically expected to do damage, although those in the area will feel shaking.
Keisha Hignite, an employee at the Love's Travel Stop at 2645 N. Canyon Ranch Drive in Cedar City, said she felt the shaking, but thought it might be a truck driving by.
"I was leaning up against the desk and i was like, 'Holy crap, that thing's just shaking,' " she said. "My whole desk was shaking for a good 10 seconds."
Hignite said the shaking was not strong enough to do any damage to the store. According to Whidden, the last earthquake strong enough to do any damage in Utah was a 5.9-magnitude quake in St. George in 1992. Still, Whidden warned, Utah is "earthquake country," and residents should be prepared.
She said to get under a sturdy table or desk when shaking starts and to hold on. The important thing is not to leave the building during the shaking.
"The biggest danger in this area is things falling off the walls onto you," she said. "Wait until the shaking stops, then get out of the building."