Powerful quake shakes U.S., Mexico border | TheUnion.com

Powerful quake shakes U.S., Mexico border

LOS ANGELES – A powerful earthquake in Baja California rocked the U.S.-Mexico border region Sunday, collapsing a parking structure south of the border and causing power outages in both countries as it sent out seismic waves felt from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and Arizona.

In Mexico, a civil protection official said one man was killed when his home collapsed. Baja California state Civil Protection Director Alfredo Escobedo said the death occurred just outside of Mexicali, close to the epicenter of the 7.2-magnitude quake.

Escobedo said there were reports of more people trapped in homes in Mexicali and rescue teams with dogs and digging equipment are rushing to the city from nearby Tijuana.

More damage reports were coming in later Sunday night, with some destruction being reported north of the border. Calexico Fire Chief Peter Mercado told KABC-TV in Los Angeles that there is substantial damage in the older section of the southeastern California city.

Mercado said there is structural damage and broken windows, leaking gas lines and damage to the water system. But he said no injuries have been reported.

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, said U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones.

The 7.2-magnitude quake was felt as far north as Santa Barbara, USGS seismologist Susan Potter said. It was one of the strongest to hit California in recent history. Only one has been stronger – a 7.3 quake that hit Landers, Calif., and left three dead in 1992 – and there were at least two other 7.2-magnitude quakes in the last 20 years.

Seismologists also said a number of small quakes were triggered in a geothermal area in Northern California.

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