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.
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The New York Times reported that in Calexico, California, across the border from Mexicali, Carlton Hargrave, 64, was standing in the entryway of the Family Style Buffet restaurant when the quake hit. The restaurant, he said in a telephone interview, was "almost completely destroyed. We’ve got tables overturned, plates broken on the floor.”Skip to next paragraph
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“The ceilings caved in. It was big, I mean, it was major," he said in a shaky voice, as his feet moved over rubble and glass and plate fragments to produce a crunching sound.
In Tijuana, about 135 miles away from the epicenter, a Reuters witness said the quake visibly jolted cars in a parking lot and shook a computer on her desk. A highway between Tijuana and Mexicali was badly damaged, civil protection officials said.
Some neighborhoods of San Diego reported minor structural damage and burst water pipes and callers to local radio said the rolling tremor made it hard to keep vehicles on the road.
"This was by far in recent memory the biggest jolt to our area," said a commentator on local San Diego radio station.
People in Los Angeles, some 200 miles northwest of the epicenter, felt buildings swaying. "I'm shaking like a leaf ... the pool water was just going everywhere," said Jean Nelson in Indio, California, outside Palm Springs, about 120 miles from the epicenter.
Southern California with its many active faults is prone to frequent quakes, and many residents fearfully anticipate the next big one. The last to cause major damage was the 6.7 magnitude Northridge quake in 1994 that left 57 dead, injured 9,000 and resulted in about $40 billion in property damage.
The quake struck at 3:40 p.m. Pacific time (6:40 p.m. EDT).Multiple aftershocks included a 5.1 shock centered near the U.S.-Mexico border in Imperial, California.