Earthquake in Baja California shakes Mexicali border and is felt in San Diego

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Photo from 'Omar Omar' via Flickr

Photo from 'Omar Omar' via Flickr

Yesterday, on Easter Sunday, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck Northern Mexico.  The epicenter was in Mexicali, but shaking was felt in San Diego and much of southern California, Arizona, Las Vegas and northern Mexico. The earthquake struck at 3:40PM and was followed by aftershocks felt all over southern California and Mexicali.

South of the border, buildings were damaged and numerous injuries are expected, although reports remain unknown as of now. Power outages and phone line damage occurred in both the US and Mexico. San Diego and Los Angeles buildings trembled, but according to San Diego County Officials, there has been no significant damage.

According to the United States Geological Survey, the earthquake’s epicenter is located “16 miles southwest of Guadalupe Victoria in Baja California, Mexico, and 110 miles southeast of Tijuana.”

Some San Diegans have claimed this to be the “biggest earthquake” they’ve ever experienced. UCSD student Alex Price was studying in the Biology Medical Library when he felt the ground starting to shake. “It was very light at first and then it got heavier. You could feel the building shaking but nothing was falling off the shelves,” Price said. “Once the earthquake got real heavy, everyone climbed under their desks. A lot of people also ran out of the building—which I don’t think is what you’re supposed to do.”

When you’re indoors, it’s best to drop and take cover while staying away from windows, doors and walls. You should stay inside until the shaking stops. For a detailed list of “What to Do During an Earthquake” during different circumstances, read the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) directions here.

The 7.2 Mexicali earthquake is said to be the largest quake, measured by magnitude, since the June 28, 1992 earthquake in Landers, California. The Landers 1992 earthquake, with a 7.3-magnitude, is the largest earthquake to have occurred in the United States in over 50 years, although many of us remember the 1994 Northridge earthquake as one of the most destructive natural disasters to hit California, due to its widespread damage and loss of life.

After 9:00PM last night, smaller quakes in the 3.0-4.0 range continued to shudder near the border, with epicenters in Mexicali, Calexico and Seeley, CA. Another aftershock in the 6-magnitude range is “likely” to occur in the upcoming days, Caltech scientist Lucy Jones told the Los Angeles Times.

Because a large aftershock is probable, please keep your family and your self safe, San Diego!


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