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Mexico Earthquake 2010: 7.2 Quake Hits Baja California, Shakes Los Angeles

First Posted: 04- 4-10 06:43 PM   |   Updated: 04- 5-10 08:30 PM

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LOS ANGELES (Associated Press) - A powerful earthquake in Baja California rocked the U.S.-Mexico border region Sunday, collapsing a parking structure south of the border and causing power outages in both countries as it sent out seismic waves felt from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and Arizona.

The 7.2-magnitude quake struck at 3:40 p.m. about 19 miles southeast of Mexicali, a bustling commerce center on the Mexican side of the border where trucks carrying goods cross into California. More than 900,000 people live in the greater Mexicali area.

It was the largest earthquake in the region in nearly 18 years and was followed by aftershocks or distant "triggered" earthquakes on both sides of the border, said U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones.

A multistory parking structure collapsed at the Mexicali city hall but no one was injured, said Baja California state Civil Protection Director Alfredo Escobedo.

Other early reports indicated only minor damage, but communication in the region more than 100 miles southeast of Los Angeles is often slow.

"I grabbed my children and said, 'Let's go outside, hurry, hurry!'" said Elizabeth Alvarez, 54, who said the quake hit as she was getting ready to leave her house with her children in an eastern Tijuana neighborhood, across the border from San Diego.

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Hundreds of people fled Tijuana's beach fearing a tsunami, said Capt. Juan Manuel Hernandez, chief of aquatic rescue at the Tijuana fire department. Tsunami experts quickly reported that no tsunami was expected along the West Coast, and Hernandez said the beach filled back up with people within an hour.

Tijuana Fire Chief Rafael Carillo said firefighters were rescuing people trapped in an elevator at the Ticuan Hotel in downtown Tijuana, but mostly were responding to reports of fallen cables and minor damage to buildings.

The Crowne Plaza hotel in Mexicali had minor damage -- burst pipes and broken windows -- but no on was hurt, said receptionist Juan Carlos Fernandez.

"There was a little bit of panic," Fernandez said. "Wait, it's trembling again."

Guests fled their rooms at the Hotel Playa Club in San Felipe, on the Gulf of California, but there was no damage, said receptionist Araceli Marquez.

Seismologists said there have been many earthquakes in the region including many in the magnitude-3.0 range before Sunday's big shock.

"The last time we had an earthquake this large in either Baja or California was in 1992 with the Landers Earthquake, which was 7.3," Jones said.

The USGS reported three strong aftershocks within the hour, including a magnitude-5.1 jolt in the Imperial County desert east of San Diego. Magnitude-4.5 and magnitude-4.3 aftershocks were also reported. Another occurred off Malibu.

The 7.2-magnitude quake was felt as far north as Santa Barbara, USGS seismologist Susan Potter said. It was one of the strongest to hit California in recent history. Only one has been stronger -- a 7.3 quake that hit Landers, Calif., and left three dead in 1992 -- and there were at least two other 7.2-magnitude quakes in the last 20 years.

Seismologists also said a number of small quakes were triggered in a geothermal area in Northern California.

More than 5,000 Southern California Edison customers were affected, mostly with about 30 seconds of flickering lights. Several hundred had longer outages.

In Arizona, 3,369 customers in the Yuma area had a "relatively momentary outage" from the quake, Arizona Public Service Company spokesman Don Wool said.

Only about 70 people were still without service in the rural Gadsden and Summerton areas. But Wool said he expected electricity to be restored there in about two hours.

Clint Norred, a spokesman for the Yuma, Ariz., Police Department, said the quake was very strong there but he'd heard no reports of injuries or major damage.

In the Phoenix area, Jacqueline Land said her king-sized bed in her second-floor apartment felt like a boat gently swaying on the ocean.

"I thought to myself, 'That can't be an earthquake. I'm in Arizona,'" the Northern California native said.

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Mexico Earthquake
Epicenter of the 6.9 magnitude earthquake that struck in Baja California, Mexico.
SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO LOS ANGELES (Associated Press) - A powerful earthquake in Baja California rocked the U.S.-Mexico border region Sunday, collapsing a parking structure south of the border and cau...
SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO LOS ANGELES (Associated Press) - A powerful earthquake in Baja California rocked the U.S.-Mexico border region Sunday, collapsing a parking structure south of the border and cau...
Filed by Adam J. Rose  |  Report Corrections
 
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Horrible just horrible, if this happened on poor countries like Haiti, you may not fathom the devastation that it can bring: http://bit.ly/mexican-earthquake-compiled-opinions

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 06:58 AM on 4/05/2010
- suec03 I'm a Fan of suec03 29 fans permalink

While Mexicali is the state capital of Baja California Norte, the population includes many poor people in the city and on its outskirts. I hope the city government can get enough Mexican and foreign disaster aid to help the people of the region affected by the quake.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 11:35 AM on 4/05/2010
- lazercat2008 I'm a Fan of lazercat2008 445 fans permalink
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It's the end of the world as we know it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bmxyj6iInMc

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 11:15 PM on 4/04/2010
- I am the walrus I'm a Fan of I am the walrus 32 fans permalink
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Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass - Spanish Flea

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcAzR2QyPCI

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 10:43 PM on 4/04/2010
- tamazul I'm a Fan of tamazul 10 fans permalink

Perhaps god is displeased with the teabaggers and evangelical hypocrites, so he sends them a little temblor.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 10:11 PM on 4/04/2010
- suec03 I'm a Fan of suec03 29 fans permalink

How many teabaggers live in Guadalupe Victoria and Mexicali, BC, Mexico? A 7.2 (larger than the 6.7 rated 1994 Northridge quake) is hardly a "little" temblor. Two people died in Mexicali, there were some building collapses, broken store window and ceiling collapses, and power outages. Calexico, CA is mostly Democratic, and had to shutdown its downtown business district due to cracking of old buildings. Seems like God must have lousy aim!

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 11:40 AM on 4/05/2010
- Beg4Nothing I'm a Fan of Beg4Nothing 64 fans permalink
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First reports of damage flowing in. Five iPads were found in a pile of glass.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 10:09 PM on 4/04/2010
- I am the walrus I'm a Fan of I am the walrus 32 fans permalink
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i Insurance?

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 10:47 PM on 4/04/2010
- Siebenstein I'm a Fan of Siebenstein 34 fans permalink
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Boy, this was scary.

It felt like a boat that was becoming more, and more unstable in rough waters.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:40 PM on 4/04/2010
- Bitsko I'm a Fan of Bitsko 763 fans permalink
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Speaking of the awesome power of our planet, here's the Soufrière Hills volcano on Caribbean island of Montserrat blowing its top on February 11...

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/files/2010/02/soufriere_collapse.jpg

And a photo of the same eruption taken by a passenger of a passing commercial aircraft...

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/files/2010/03/montserrat_volcano.jpg

These pics are from the great Bad Astronomy site.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:13 PM on 4/04/2010
- DimBulb2 I'm a Fan of DimBulb2 498 fans permalink
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Thank Dog
"the city of los Angeles is secure"

I can relax now........

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:03 PM on 4/04/2010
- Bitsko I'm a Fan of Bitsko 763 fans permalink
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Grateful Dead -- Mexicali Blues

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9P0_KuDjrdU

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:02 PM on 4/04/2010
- I am the walrus I'm a Fan of I am the walrus 32 fans permalink
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I have a killer version of this from 1981.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 10:46 PM on 4/04/2010
- HumeSkeptic I'm a Fan of HumeSkeptic 2087 fans permalink
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The strongest one I ever experienced was on a hilltop restaurant near the ocean on Santorini, Greece. The table tipped over and all the bottles from the par came crashing down.

I was with a Greek couple. They got up from the floor, smoothened their clothes, and the wife said to the husban,"I wonder where the kids are!". He just shrugged his shoulders and started picking up all the silverware from the floor and called the waiter for replacing all the drinks and food that got thrown out..

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:38 PM on 4/04/2010
- melton244 I'm a Fan of melton244 186 fans permalink
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I love Santorini! Wished I was there right now!

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:39 PM on 4/04/2010
- HumeSkeptic I'm a Fan of HumeSkeptic 2087 fans permalink
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Gorgeous place.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:41 PM on 4/04/2010
- melton244 I'm a Fan of melton244 186 fans permalink
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We're not in a bad place, just an earthquake or two! Still love SD.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:43 PM on 4/04/2010
- HumeSkeptic I'm a Fan of HumeSkeptic 2087 fans permalink
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That's right. One visit to the beach and we get convinced of the reasons why we live here.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:46 PM on 4/04/2010
- Bitsko I'm a Fan of Bitsko 763 fans permalink
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My wife has fond memories of Santorini.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:02 PM on 4/04/2010
- Bitsko I'm a Fan of Bitsko 763 fans permalink
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I lived in Frisco in the 80's and earthquakes were quite common. In fact, I used to look forward to their jolly rolls. Fortunately, we moved a few months before the 1989 Loma Prieta quake. We lived in a big old redwood house that caught on fire during that one.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:21 PM on 4/04/2010
- Clare53 I'm a Fan of Clare53 18 fans permalink

If you lived in San Francisco you should know not to call it Frisco.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:24 PM on 4/04/2010
- pencilpusher I'm a Fan of pencilpusher 9 fans permalink

Moved? Probably thrown out of town for calling it "Frisco". Well, they don't actually throw people out of town there. More like "taunted relentlessly".

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 10:18 PM on 4/04/2010
- Jocalo I'm a Fan of Jocalo 6 fans permalink
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I was in the Loma Prieta quake in a cafe on Market St. Everyone ran for the doorway with cigarettes and lattes still in hand. Priorities.

My husband tortures me by calling San Francisco the F-word. He even got me a mug that has the F-word on it. I have to appreciate his mockery, because we Northern Californians are terrible snobs and it keeps me from taking myself too seriously, especially since I live in LA now and really can't.

This is what Herb Caen wrote in the Chronicle:
"Not Frisco but San Francisco. Caress each Spanish syllable, salute our Italian Saint. Don't say Frisco and don't say San-Fran-Cis-Co. That's the way Easterners, like Larry King pronounce it. It's more like SanfrnSISco."

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 11:48 PM on 4/04/2010
- DimBulb2 I'm a Fan of DimBulb2 498 fans permalink
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Triggered Earthquake

Cool new term

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:38 PM on 4/04/2010
- rusane I'm a Fan of rusane 103 fans permalink
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Eye on the TV 'cause tragedy thrills me,
whatever flavor it happens to be like

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hii17sjSwfA

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:33 PM on 4/04/2010
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Love me some Tool!!

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:48 PM on 4/04/2010
- rusane I'm a Fan of rusane 103 fans permalink
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well im just gonna have to go ahead and fan you then

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 01:06 AM on 4/05/2010
- DimBulb2 I'm a Fan of DimBulb2 498 fans permalink
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CNN keeps showing a pool sloshing
At least they are covering the story

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:32 PM on 4/04/2010
- Bitsko I'm a Fan of Bitsko 763 fans permalink
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Heh!

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:33 PM on 4/04/2010
- Midnightrain I'm a Fan of Midnightrain 546 fans permalink
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LOL!

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:41 PM on 4/04/2010
- rusane I'm a Fan of rusane 103 fans permalink
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is this statistically abhorrent yet, or is it still "normal"?

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:23 PM on 4/04/2010
- Bitsko I'm a Fan of Bitsko 763 fans permalink
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Plate techtonics are quite "normal." Wouldn't have life without them.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:24 PM on 4/04/2010
- av10 I'm a Fan of av10 60 fans permalink
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The worst to affect SoCal in almost 20 years.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:25 PM on 4/04/2010
- Jayjaybe I'm a Fan of Jayjaybe 16 fans permalink

Fuzzy memories. 1999 saw a 7.1 near Barstow, CA, which is closer to LA than this one.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 09:52 PM on 4/04/2010
- tmf945 I'm a Fan of tmf945 70 fans permalink
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There are on average 17 7.0-7.9 earthquakes worldwide per year

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqarchives/year/eqstats.php

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:27 PM on 4/04/2010
- rusane I'm a Fan of rusane 103 fans permalink
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what are we up to this year?

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:29 PM on 4/04/2010
- Bitsko I'm a Fan of Bitsko 763 fans permalink
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Hope all my old friends in Sonora are well and good.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:23 PM on 4/04/2010
- HumeSkeptic I'm a Fan of HumeSkeptic 2087 fans permalink
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Don't worry. There is no report of any damage. Sonora is near El Cajon, isn't it?

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:26 PM on 4/04/2010
- Bitsko I'm a Fan of Bitsko 763 fans permalink
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I meant the Sonoran Desert. Speaking of your neck of the woods, many the night I've spent under the El Centro skies sipping tequila while watching softball games. Doesn't get any better than that.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 08:29 PM on 4/04/2010
- suec03 I'm a Fan of suec03 29 fans permalink

Not Sonora, California near Yosemite in the Sierra Nevada! The Mexican state of Sonora, across Arizona's southern border! The quake epicenter was 38 miles southwest of the city of San Luis Rio Colorado which is in the state of Sonora. The epicenter was in the adjacent state of Baja California Norte, to the west of the state of Sonora.

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 11:56 AM on 4/05/2010

I was wondering the same thing. :( Haven't been able to get a hold of anyone in Sonora. Any word from your friends?

    Reply     Favorite     Flag as abusive Posted 10:06 AM on 4/05/2010
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