MIAMI – Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) closed its doors this Wednesday morning after a 5.7 earthquake hit Utah, Wyoming and Idaho at 9AM.
Update 1:10 p.m.: The airport has completed the security sweep and is preparing to allow passengers through at 1:15 p.m. The water line in Concourse D has been repaired and the remaining facilities have been found to be structurally safe. Flights will begin arriving and departing.
“Road to the airport has been closed. Please do not come out to the airport”, stated SLC via Twitter (@slcairport).
Since 1992, this is the strongest earthquake registered in Utah.
Because the epicenter area has been hit by more than a dozen aftershocks, the airport was evacuated, said airport officials, to ensure the safety of all passengers and employees. All aircraft about to take off were immediately grounded.
Following the magnitude of the event, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered the evacuation of the SLC’s flight control tower while it also re-routed incoming flights to other airports, according to its statement via Twitter (@FAANews).
Also, the airport and the Salt Lake Temple were damaged, as reported by the Salt Lake Tribune. Other structures of the city were affected, too.
The Utah Department of Health is assessing the damage, but the coronavirus’ state hotline is currently down, informed Gov. Gary Herbert.
The airport’s terminals were built in 1960 and 1984, and constructions for a new terminal began in July 2014 as part of a US$1.8bn program to last trough 2023.
Currently, the airship serves as the fourth-largest hub for Delta Air Lines (DL) and the new terminal is set to be completed this 2020.