7.2 Earthquake rocks western Mexico
Posted: 04-05-2010

Earthquake rocks western Mexico

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake has hit the Mexican peninsula of Baja California, killing at least one person and causing tremors as far away as Nevada.

The quake struck at 1540 (2240 GMT), 26km (16 miles) south-west of Guadalupe Victoria in Baja California, at a depth of 32km, said the US Geological Survey.
Some people are still trapped in their homes in the city of Mexicali, where a state of emergency has been declared.

It was the worst quake to hit the region for many years, officials said.
The US Geological Survey said some 20 million people felt tremors from the largest quake to hit the area since 1992.

Mexican civil protection officials said a man had died when his home collapsed outside Mexicali, near the earthquake's epicentre.

Structural damage was reported in the city of Mexicali

Rescue teams with digging equipment and sniffer dogs have been despatched to the worst-affected areas of Mexicali from the nearby city of Tijuana.

The government in Mexico's Baja California declared a state of emergency in Mexicali, a city of about 900,00 people.

The quake caused buildings to sway in Tijuana, where Easter celebrations were interrupted as families rushed for open ground.

Some parts of Baja California had seen power cuts, officials there said.
The BBC's Peter Bowes in Los Angeles says the shaking lasted for about a minute and US firefighters were called out to inspect roads, bridges and power-lines.
The LA Fire Department had also responded to a number of automatic alarms and people being stuck in lifts, reports said.

Rides were temporarily suspended at the Disneyland theme park in California.
Many readers who contacted the BBC spoke of the "surreal" swaying of buildings for up to a minute, although Steve Rider from Palm Springs in California said it was "the most powerful earthquake I have ever felt".

Kyle Stockburger, in Los Angeles, said: "Everyone stopped talking in the restaurant and the overhead lights started swaying back and forth. It wasn't violent, just unreal. It felt like the whole earth was swaying."
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