Tue | Jan 31, 2023

Monster quake hits US, Mexico

Published:Monday | April 5, 2010 | 12:00 AM


A STRONG earthquake south of the United States-Mexico border yesterday swayed high-rises in downtown Los Angeles and San Diego and was felt across Southern California and Arizona, but there were no immediate reports of major damage.

CNN reported last night that one man died in Mexico.

The 7.2-magnitude quake struck at 3:40 p.m. EDT in Baja California in Mexico, about 19 miles south-east of Mexicali, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). The area had been hit by magnitude-3.0 quakes all week.

The quake was felt as far north as Santa Barbara, USGS seismologist Susan Potter said.

Strong shaking was reported in the Coachella Valley and Riverside, California. The earthquake rattled buildings on the west side of Los Angeles and in the San Fernando Valley, interrupting Easter dinners. Chandeliers swayed and wine jiggled in glasses.

Minor incidents

In Los Angeles, the city fire department went on "earthquake status", and some stalled elevators were reported. No damage was reported in Los Angeles or San Diego.

One woman called firefighters and said she was stuck in an elevator descending from the 34th floor in a building in Century City, but there was no way to immediately know if the breakdown was tied the quake, Los Angeles firefighter Eric Scott said.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said there were no power outages anywhere in the city.

The quake was felt for about 40 seconds in Tijuana, Mexico, causing buildings to sway and knocking out power in parts of the city. Families celebrating Easter ran out of their homes, with children screaming and crying.

Baja California state Civil Protection Director Alfredo Escobedo said there were no immediate reports of injuries or major damage but added that the assessment was ongoing.

In the Phoenix area, Jacqueline Land said the king-size bed in her second-floor apartment felt like a boat gently swaying on the ocean.

"I thought to myself, 'That can't be an earthquake. I'm in Arizona'," the Northern California native said. "And I thought, 'Oh my God, I feel like I'm 9 years old'."