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US & Mexico Work On Border Quake Research, Readiness

Geologists from CICESE, an Ensenada science institute, say the quake pushed t...
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Above: Geologists from CICESE, an Ensenada science institute, say the quake pushed this mountain six feet into the air and 10 feet to the side in some places. The dark ribbon that runs through the mountain is freshly exposed dirt.

— The Easter earthquake in April 2010, left the Mexicali region without power. One hundred people were injured and hospitals, homes, and irrigation canals were damaged or destroyed.

Earlier this Spring, geologist Orlando Teran visited the area, and said the Mexicali earthquake held a valuable lesson for the U.S. and Mexico.

"It tells us that this area is a lot more active than what we actually thought," said Teran, who works with the Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior, a science institute in Ensenada, Baja California.

The findings over the last year have since made it clear that Northern Mexico is especially vulnerable to earthquakes, as is Southern California.

"Last year during the earthquake we learned that we missed because of lack of better instruments and information," said Roberto Quaas Weppen, Director General of CENAPRED, Mexico's National Center of Disaster Prevention, an office within the Ministry of the Interior. "We missed the opportunity to make an early assessment of the damages and intensity that was recorded."

As part of the budding partnership, Mexico will receive instruments and training from the U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. will use the joint monitoring data to predict earthquakes and prepare for them.

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