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7.2 Earthquake Shakes San Diego Region

This map from USGS shows the location and size of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck in Baja California on April 4, 2010.

Above: This map from USGS shows the location and size of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck in Baja California on April 4, 2010.

Poll

Did You Feel The Earthquake?

  • Yes

    92%
  • No

    7%

318 total votes. (This poll is now closed.)

Ana Velazquez and her daughter Mariana and Angelica, sit on the grass after crossing the border into the U.S. after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the area April 4, 2010 in Calexico, California.
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Above: Ana Velazquez and her daughter Mariana and Angelica, sit on the grass after crossing the border into the U.S. after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the area April 4, 2010 in Calexico, California.

— A powerful earthquake swayed high-rises in San Diego County and was felt across Southern California and Arizona on Sunday afternoon. The magnitude 7.2 quake was centered near Guadalupe Victoria in Baja California. The USGS reports it’s the largest earthquake to shake the region in 18 years.

The earthquake was felt the hardest in Mexicali, a bustling commerce center along the border. State authorities said at least two people died and 100 were injured from the quake. Several structures collapsed or were damaged, including a parking garage under construction at the Baja California Capitol building. Power was out in virtually the entire city and the blackout was expected to last at least 14 hours.

Fires burned throughout Mexicali due to gas line breaks and damaged propane tanks, said Allen Sandoval, inspector for Baja California Civil Protection. Rescue teams with dogs and digging equipment were rushing to the city from nearby Tijuana, but a landslide along that highway was slowing traffic.

Baja California water authorities say the aqueduct that carries Colorado River water to Tecate and Tijuana may have suffered structural damage. State authorities are warning Tecate residents that their water may be discolorered because the state has to switch to an alternate water source. State officials say the water still meets health standards.

Lupita Alquicera, 45, of Mexicali was shopping at the time of the quake and said people went running when the building started shaking. On her way home, she said she saw hundreds of people standing outside of the public hospital, and she heard sirens and saw smoke rising in several places around the city.

Alquicera said dozens of people in her neighborhood had abandoned their homes for the street for fear of another strong aftershock or quake, and dozens more had set up camp for the night in the soccer field. She said power and water were still out at 7:30 p.m., and that getting any information was difficult because they couldn't turn on the television or radio or access the internet. As of 7:30 p.m. Sunday, she said the sirens had died down and the smoke she had seen earlier had stopped.

There were growing reports of damage just across the border from Mexicali in Calexico. The Calexico City Council met and declared a state of emergency, though there were no reports of injuries in the region.

Law enforcement vehicles guarded downtown streets in Calexico, where windows were shattered and bricks and plaster had fallen from some buildings.The downtown Calexico port of entry also suffered damage and was closed as a precautionary measure shortly after the quake struck. Vehicle traffic was diverted to the east port.

In San Diego, the Sheraton Harbor Island towers were evacuated due to structural worries, but an inspection by building engineers determined there were no major problems, said Maurice Luque of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. However, floors 7-12 remained closed because of jammed doors, Luque said.

Lindbergh Field's Terminal 2 was evacuated for a short time but flights were not delayed.

Isolated power outages were reported throughout Southern California, including more than 600 customers in Borrego Springs, according to Jennifer Ramp of San Diego Gas & Electric.

The San Diego trolley had delays of 15 minutes after the quake hit, and trains traveled slowly because of speed restrictions so the drivers could inspect the tracks ahead of them, said Mike Malloy of the Metropolitan Transit System.

There have been three large aftershocks so far, including one that registered a 5.5 magnitude, and other smaller temblors, USGS said.

Comments

Avatar for user 'dubbio'

dubbio | April 4, 2010 at 4:47 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

You can also report personal accounts of the quake: http://tinyurl.com/yc5c3t9

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'travelista'

travelista | April 4, 2010 at 7:06 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

SHOULD YOU RUN OUTSIDE?

Here is a great site to explain why you shouldn't, and what else you SHOULD do...

http://www.earthquakecountry.info/dropcoverholdon/

Essentially, the jist is:

GET TO THE GROUND. (Shaking may make you off balance, injuries occur during falls.)

GET UNDER A TABLE. Tables have the best chance of not collapsing, post-earthquake photos have shown many stay standing even though a floor lever above has collapsed on it.

HOLD ON. ...To the table legs to keep them secure and from sliding away from you.

IF YOU ARE IN AN OLDER "UN-REINFORCED" CALIFORNIA "ADOBE" HOME, THE DOORWAYS ARE THE SAFEST STRUCTURE.

...DO NOT STAND IN A DOORWAY OF A MODERN HOME!!....They are no stronger than any other part of the home.

DO NOT JUST GET NEXT TO A TABLE, get under it.

For more photos and information, please see:

http://www.earthquakecountry.info/dropcoverholdon/

WHY IS RUNNING OUTSIDE "NOT" WHAT YOU SHOULD DO?:

DO NOT run outside or to other rooms during shaking: The area near the exterior walls of a building is the most dangerous place to be. Windows, facades and architectural details are often the first parts of the building to collapse. Also, shaking can be so strong that you will not be able to move far without falling down, and objects may fall or be thrown at you that you do not expect.

DEPENDING ON WHERE YOU ARE:

http://www.earthquakecountry.info/roots/step5.html

What if you are...

IN BED:
Hold on and stay there, protecting your head with a pillow. You are less likely to be injured staying where you are. Broken glass on the floor has caused injury to those who have rolled to the floor or tried to get to doorways.

IN A HIGH-RISE:
Drop, cover, and hold on. Avoid windows and other hazards. Do not use elevators. Do not be surprised if sprinkler systems or fire alarms activate.

OUTDOORS:
Move to a clear area if you can safely do so; avoid power lines, trees, signs, buildings, vehicles, and other hazards.

DRIVING:
Pull over to the side of the road, stop, and set the parking brake. Avoid overpasses, bridges, power lines, signs and other hazards. Stay inside the vehicle until the shaking is over. If a power line falls on the car, stay inside until a trained person removes the wire.

IN A STADIUM or THEATER:
Stay at your seat and protect your head and neck with your arms. Don't try to leave until the shaking is over. Then walk out slowly watching for anything that could fall in the aftershocks.

NEAR THE SHORE:
Drop, cover and hold on until the shaking stops. Estimate how long the shaking lasts. If severe shaking lasts 20 seconds or more, immediately evacuate to high ground as a tsunami might have been generated by the earthquake. Move inland 3 kilometers (2 miles) or to land that is at least 30 meters (100 feet) above sea level immediately. Don't wait for officials to issue a warning. Walk quickly, rather than drive, to avoid traffic, debris and other hazards.

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