Earthquake Expert Honored in Utah for Lifetime of Service

May 1, 2008

A University of Utah earthquake expert received a lifetime achievement award from the Western States Seismic Policy Council.

Walter Arabasz got the award last week at a national earthquake conference in Seattle. He is director of the university’s Seismograph Stations.

The award recognizes outstanding leaders in earthquake-risk reduction.

After a pager vibrated on his pajamas, Arabasz was the first to contact authorities about tremors tied to the cave-in at Utah’s Crandall Canyon coal mine Aug. 6. Six miners died in that collapse.

The pager signaled that an earthquake above a certain threshold had occurred.

Arabasz is credited with getting federal money to develop a real-time earthquake reporting system for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

He is the fifth recipient of the lifetime award from the Western States Seismic Policy Council.

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