20 seconds ago 2010-04-07T15:49:43-07:00
TIJUANA, Mexico (Reuters) – A strong 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck in Baja California, Mexico, on Sunday, rocking buildings and panicking residents as far away as Tijuana and Los Angeles but there were no immediate reports of damage.
Some people were reported trapped in elevators, retaining walls had collapsed in some places and electricity was out in several parts of the Mexican state of Baja California, Alfredo Escobedo, the director of emergency services in the state, said.
The relatively shallow quake was centered in a lightly populated area in northeastern Baja California near the U.S. border. Telephone communications were cut off with the border city of Mexicali, 30 miles to the northwest of the epicenter near Guadalupe Victoria.
A Reuters witness in Tijuana, about 135 miles away from the epicenter, said cars in a parking lot outside of a building could be seen jolting with the quake and a computer on her desk shook during the temblor.
"I'm shaking like a leaf ... the pool water was just going everywhere," said Jean Nelson in Indio, California, outside of Palm Springs, about 120 miles away from the epicenter.
The quake was also felt about 200 miles northwest in Los Angeles, witnesses said.
"Here it was just swinging nicely," said Nathalie Ruiz, a resident of a high-rise building in west Los Angeles. "It was not strong shaking, but it was very scary of course."
The quake struck at 3:40 p.m. Pacific time (6:40 p.m. EDT) at a depth of 20 miles.
Multiple aftershocks were reported immediately after the quake including a 5.1 shock centered near the U.S.-Mexico border in Imperial, California.
(Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz, Jackie Frank and Tomas Sarmiento; Writing by Robert Campbell; Editing by Will Dunham)