Saturday, April 17, 2010

Earthquake damage in Mexicali; quake was triggered south of San Andreas fault

Early reports from Mexico indicate that the border town of Mexicali was damaged in the estimated 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Baja California on Sunday that shook buildings as far north as Los Angeles.Cesar Garcia, an editor at the Channel 12 TV station in Tijuana, said a two-story parking garage next to the Mexicali government headquarters collapsed, causing several injuries. No deaths had been reported. The government building was also damaged, he said.The local general hospital was evacuated, with patients transferred to other facilities, according to Garcia.He also said the news station had not been able to reach anyone in Guadalupe de Victoria, a town 16 miles northeast of the epicenter. Wineries are the main industry there, he said.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.”“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. There are 653,000 residents in Mexicali, according to 2005 census figures.

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