05
Apr
10

Three Killed, 233 Injured In Baja Quake Felt Throughout Southwest

NEWS
Three Killed, 233 Injured In Baja Quake Felt Throughout Southwest

Monday, April 5, 2010

Earth••• The death toll from Sunday’s 7.2 Baja earthquake felt across the Southwest increased to three Monday, with at least 233 people, mostly in the Mexican border town of Mexicali, reporting injuries, according to reports.

The Southern California Seismic Network recorded the quake shortly after 3:40:41 PDT.

The US Geological Survey said the 7.2 magnitude quake struck in Baja, California, about 104 miles east-southeast of Tijuana.

CNN reported the earthquake was stronger than the one that hit Haiti in January, and shook highrise buildings hundreds of kilometres away in Los Angeles and San Diego.

There have been a series of aftershocks in the region, with several topping magnitude 5 according to data recorded by the U.S. Geological Survey.

One person was killed when a building collapsed in Mexicali, the capital of Baja California, according to the assistant director of civil protection in Tijuana, CNN reported.
Mexicali, a city of 900,000 people, is just 11 miles from the epicentre and there were reports of sides of buildings falling apart, telephone poles collapsing and roads cracking.

But there were no reports of major damage or casualties in the US from the earthquake, which struck at 3:40 pm PDT at a depth of 6 miles, 16 miles south-southwest of Guadalupe Victoria, Baja California, Mexico.

Twitter users reported that Disneyland was evacuated. People were stuck in lifts and of many reported water sloshing out of swimming pools.

A spokesperson for Disneyland told that all rides were initially closed down following the earthquake, but they are back operating as normal.

“Our normal protocol following an earthquake is to cycle out all attractions for a safety inspection,” the spokesperson said. “We have no reports of injury or damage. Nearly all attractions have been inspected and are back online.”
The strong earthquake south of the U.S. – Mexico border shook high-rises in downtown Los Angeles and San Diego and was felt across Southern California and Arizona.

Residents said the quake shook “for a long time”.

“We felt it for about 30 seconds. It was rolling,” San Diego County Sheriff’s Lt. Scott Ybarrondo told CNN. “Nothing fell off the walls here, but we have reports of pictures falling off walls elsewhere in the county.”

The quake was felt as far north as Santa Barbara, USGS seismologist Susan Potter said.

A 4.1-magnitude tremor was recorded near Santa Rosa, in northern California, about nine minutes after the Baja California quake, CNN said. The USGS recorded a 5.1 aftershock 1 mile from Imperial, California.

People trapped in lifts, buildings damaged

In LA, the city fire department went on “earthquake status”, and some stalled lifts were reported. No damage was reported in LA or San Diego.
One woman called firefighters and said she was stuck in a lift descending from the 34th floor in a building in Century City, but there was no way to immediately know if the breakdown was tied the quake, LA firefighter Eric Scott said.

Los Angeles City Fire Department crews responded to people trapped in stalled elevators in the city, but there were no reports of serious damage, power outages or injuries in L.A.

In San Diego several buildings and water mains were reported damaged, according to the San Diego Fire Department.
While in Yuma, Arizona, the sheriff’s department said it was responding to building alarms.
The quake was felt for about 40 seconds in Tijuana, Mexico, causing buildings to sway and knocking out power in parts of the city. Families celebrating Easter ran out of the homes, with children screaming and crying.
Baja California state Civil Protection Director Alfredo Escobedo said there were no immediate reports of injuries or major damage. But he said the assessment was ongoing.

In the Phoenix area, 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,'” the Northern California native said. “And I thought, ‘Oh my God, I feel like I’m nine years old.'”
Mike Wong, who works at a journalism school in downtown Phoenix, said he was in his second-floor office getting some work done when he heard sounds and felt the building start to sway.

“I heard some cracking sounds, like Rice Krispies,” coming from the building, he said. “I didn’t think much of it, but I kept hearing it, and then I started feeling a shake. I thought, ‘You know what? I think that might be an earthquake.”

Mr Wong said the swaying lasted for “just a few seconds”, and he didn’t notice any damage.

“Because of the location of the earthquake, it will have been felt by a large number of people,” said Susan Potter, a geophysicist with the USGS told The Wall Street Journal.

Within an hour of the earthquake, more than 4000 people had filed reports with the USGS saying they had felt shaking.

By comparison, the earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12 was a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. An earthquake that struck near Concepcion, Chile on February 27 was listed as an 8.8-magnitude earthquake.
• Source(s): USGS, CNN and Wall Street Journal
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