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Earthquake In Mexicali Rattles Border Cities

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Aired 12/30/09

A magnitude-5.8 earthquake rocked the U.S.-Mexico border region just before 11 a.m. on Wednesday, causing hospitals to evacuate in the Mexican industrial city of Mexicali as buildings swayed more than 100 miles to the west in San Diego and southwestern Arizona.

A magnitude-5.8 earthquake rocked the U.S.-Mexico border region just before 11 a.m. on Wednesday, causing hospitals to evacuate in the Mexican industrial city of Mexicali as buildings swayed more than 100 miles to the west in San Diego and southwestern Arizona.

According to the US Geological Survey web site the earthquake struck Cerro Prieto south of Mexicali. The area lies on a fault and is known for its geothermal activity.

The quake shook buildings as far away as San Diego and Tijuana.

Victor Clark, who was in his Tijuana office, was on the phone with KPBS when he felt the shaking. "The lamps in my office are still swinging about a minute afterwards," he said.

Eliazar Lemus, who works at a hotel in Mexicali, estimated the ground shook for six seconds. He said guests remained calm and he didn't see any structural damage.

"Poeple who live in Mexicali are used to earthquakes. We know what'll happen, that there will be aftershocks," he said

A 4.9 aftershock rumbled through the city.

A spokeswoman for the USGS says seismic activity in Cerro Prieto is not unusual.

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