Monday, April 5, 2010

Southern California, Mexico Earthquake 2010

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck last night just south of the US-Mexico border, rattling buildings as far away as Los Angeles and closing rides at Disneyland.

The earthquake struck at 3.40pm (10.40pm GMT) in Baja California, Mexico, about 19 miles (30km) south-east of Mexicali, according to the US Geological Survey. The area has been hit by magnitude 3.0 quakes all week.

It was felt for about 40 seconds in Tijuana, Mexico, causing buildings to sway and knocking out power in parts of the city.

Tremors were felt across Southern California and Arizona, but there were no immediate reports of serious damage.

Strong tremors were reported in the Coachella Valley and Riverside, California. The earthquake shook buildings on the west side of Los Angeles and in the San Fernando valley.

The LA fire department began checking buildings and bridges for possible structural damage and checking reports of people stuck in lifts, but no damage has been reported. Rides were temporarily closed at Disneyland in Anaheim, Orange County.

Across the western US, dozens of people reported feeling the quake on the US Geological Survey Did you feel it? website. It was felt as far north as Santa Barbara, USGS seismologist Susan Potter said.

"I'm shaking like a leaf … the pool water was going everywhere," Jean Nelson in Indio, near Palm Springs, told Reuters.

In Phoenix, Arizona, Jacqueline Land said her 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," she said.

Mike Wong, who works at a journalism school in Phoenix, said he was in his second-floor office when he felt the building start to sway. "I heard some cracking sounds, like Rice Krispies," he said. "I didn't think much of it, but I kept hearing it, and then I started feeling a shake."

An earthquake also hit northern California yesterday afternoon. The USGS said a quake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.0 was recorded at 3.49pm local time about 25 miles (40km) north of Santa Rosa.


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