A earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale, centered 173 kilometers east of Tijuana, Mexico, has shaken cities as far away as Los Angeles and Las Vegas. At least two people are reported dead.
AFP - Californians breathed a sigh of relief after Sunday's killer quake near the US-Mexico border caused more fear than damage, with all victims and most of the wreckage centered in Mexico.
It may have been felt as far away as Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix, Arizona, but the magnitude 7.2 quake that struck northwestern Mexico was not the "Big One" Californians fear could strike the Golden State at any moment.
Seismologists have warned the densely populated state is inevitably in line for a huge tremor that could kill thousands.
Infrastructure is also a concern, with the American Society of Civil Engineers warning last year that 26 percent of US bridges "are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete."
"Each earthquake we have triggers a chance for a bigger earthquake in the next few days," California Institute of Technology seismologist Lucy Jones told reporters.
The Escomex business school in Mexicali is largely destroyed. Photo posted on Twitter by Cimarron98.
Local officials declare a state of emergency for Mexicali. Photo posted on Twitter by r13639.
A huge fault appeared on a road in Mexicali. Photo posted on Twitter by polyvf.
Twitter user Elviira from Fontana, California posted this photo of a supermarket in her hometown that was partially destroyed in the quake.
The quake could be felt as far as Los Angeles. In this photo, posted by Twitter user ms_kristen, Disneyland is being evacuated.
A frightened Twitter user describes the roads as "moving like waves".
Another devastated supermarket, this time in Mexicali. Posted on Twitter by Cimarron98.
At least two people were reported dead and about 100 injured in the Mexican border city of Mexicali -- the only reported victims so far from the quake and its dozens of aftershocks -- also the scene of significant damage.
But no victims or major damage have yet been reported in California or neighboring Arizona and Nevada, where the quake was felt as far as 285 miles (460 kilometers) away from the epicenter.
Los Angeles area residents told ABC7 television news that objects fell from shelves in their homes. The news channel showed footage of water in a swimming pool shaking and overflowing due to the tremor.
Ioan Grillo, France 24 correspondent in Mexico
"I was in the desert and I felt it pretty good, it was actually very strong," said Matt Diaz, investigator with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.
There was momentary panic at a medical center in Palm Springs, local police said.
In San Diego, authorities reported no major incidents other than damage to a wall of an old building.
But the tremor was strong enough to spread panic among some Californians, including a group of churchgoers attending Easter Sunday service that rushed out of a Lutheran church when the shaking began.
The quake knocked out power in about 3,000 homes in Orange County and San Diego late Sunday, San Diego Gas & Electric said.
Sunday's quake was the most powerful felt in California since 1992. Its aftershocks included a magnitude 4.1 quake that struck near Brawley, California.
Date created : 2010-04-05