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Tuesday April 6, 2010

Bloomberg

Magnitude 7.2 Quake Hits Baja, Mexico, Shakes L.A. (Update3)

April 04, 2010, 9:50 PM EDT

(Adds reports of damage in Mexico starting in first paragraph.)

By Demian McLean

April 4 (Bloomberg) -- A 7.2 magnitude earthquake, Mexico’s strongest in seven years, struck Baja California, causing at least one death, and shook buildings more than 200 miles away in Los Angeles.

The temblor, which hit at 3:40 p.m. Los Angeles time, was centered inland about 108 miles (173 kilometers) east-southeast of Tijuana, the U.S. Geological Survey said on its Web site.

The quake knocked out electricity and disrupted phone service in Mexicali, Baja California’s capital, said Alan Sandoval, a spokesman for the state’s civil protection agency, citing reports the agency received. A house also collapsed in the city, killing one person, and a parking garage was damaged, he said. No other injuries were confirmed.

Three aftershocks measuring 4.7 to 5.4 struck about an hour after the initial quake. Baja residents were urged to evacuate buildings as a precaution. Petroleos Mexicanos, Latin America’s largest oil producer, had no reports of damage, a spokesman said.

In Los Angeles, skyscrapers shook and chandeliers swayed with the initial quake. No damage was reported, said Erik Scott, a spokesman for the city fire department.

Shaking was also felt in Phoenix, according to the Arizona Republic newspaper.

The quake, originally estimated at 6.9, is the largest to hit Mexico since a 7.6 magnitude temblor struck offshore of Colima in 2003, according to USGS records.

That temblor destroyed 2,005 homes, killed 29 people and left about 10,000 homeless, the U.S. agency said.

--With assistance from Crayton Harrison and Carlos Rodriguez in Mexico City and David Evans in Los Angeles. Editors: Greg Chang, John Viljoen.

To contact the reporter on this story: Demian McLean at dmclean8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Greg Chang at gchang1@bloomberg.net

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