Mexicali earthquake: Major 7.2 quake hits US-Mexico border
A major 7.2 quake, centered near Mexicali, Mexico, struck Sunday afternoon. At least one person was reported killed. The quake was felt in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Tijuana.
A major 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck near Mexico-US border on Sunday, killing at least one person.Skip to next paragraph
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He said others were reported trapped in elevators, retaining walls had collapsed in some places and electricity was out in several parts of the state.
The relatively shallow quake was centered in a lightly populated area in northeastern Baja California near the city of Mexicali, Mexico, on the US border, knocking out power in chunks of the city and cutting off most phone communications.
A series of aftershocks rocked the area around the epicenter, 30 miles to the southeast of Mexicali and close to the town of Guadalupe Victoria.
"It's still shaking," said Nadia Camacho, a receptionist at a Mexicali hotel which suffered cracks to its floor and walls."We are all on alert. Nobody is inside the hotel, everybody's outside."
The US Geological Survey, or USGS, originally measured the quake as 6.9 but later raised it to 7.2, a magnitude that can cause serious damage to urban areas. It also revised the depth of the quake to 6.2 miles from 20 miles.
It was the largest earthquake in the region in nearly 18 years and was followed by aftershocks or distant "triggered" earthquakes on both sides of the border, USGS seismologist Lucy Jones told the Associated Press.
A multistory parking structure collapsed at the Mexicali city hall but no one was injured, said Baja California state Civil Protection Director Alfredo Escobedo.
Mexicali, home to roughly a million people, is a prosperous city and a busy border crossing with the United States. Local industry is mainly agriculture, food processing plants and assembly-for-export plants.
An empty multistory parking garage under construction in Mexicali collapsed and broken gas pipes sparked a number of fires, Baja California civil protection official Eduardo Sandoval told Mexican radio. He had no reports of casualties.