April 4th, 2010
10:51 PM ET

Earthquakes shake Pacific Coast; one dead in Mexico

A sign came loose from the ceiling of a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Palm Desert, California, following the 7.2-magnitude quake.

[Updated at 10:48 p.m.] The quake was the largest in the Baja California and Southern California area since 1992, the USGS reported.

The '92 quake, which struck in Landers, California, triggered an earthquake the next day in Nevada and another quake 11 days later in Southern California, according to USGS seismologist Lucy Jones. Both were 5.7-magnitude quakes.

[Updated at 10:30 p.m.] The USGS has a feature on its Web site where you can respond if you felt the quake. Thus far, there are hundreds of responses with people claiming to have experienced the earthquake, representing areas in California and Mexico, to Arizona and Nevada.

Meanwhile, Twitter has thousands of posts about the quake. Posts – at different times – are trending under several topics, including: “USGS,” “Earthquake,” “Mexico,” Mexicali” and “Baja California.”

Some are weighing in with their first brushes with an earthquake; others are posting about some of the quake’s effects, such as people they know getting trapped in elevators.

There is even a bit of wry humor. A poster with the name jfranke24 wrote: “Earthquake rumbles through SoCal while we're eating dinner next to the Staples Cntr. You know you're in LA when everybody claps afterwards.” 

[Updated at 10:00 p.m.] CNN's Ted Rowlands reports from Los Angeles, California:

[Updated at 9:40 p.m.]  At least one person has been confirmed killed in a building collapse in Mexicali, according to the assistant director of civil protection in Tijuana. There have also been reports of injuries and structural damage, according to Alfredo Escobedo, Mexico's director of civil protection.

Pictures from Mexicali showed the sides ripped off buildings, toppled  telephone poles, cracked roads, and supermarket aisles strewn with food that  had fallen off shelves. In California and Arizona, there were no immediate reports of injuries and only limited reports of damages. Residents across southern California and Arizona reported serious ground  shakes.

[Updated at 9:33 p.m.] During a press conference earlier this evening, Lucy Jones, a seismologist with the USGS, said some magnitude 5 or magnitude 6 aftershocks were possible during the next few days.

[Updated at 8:52 p.m.] There have been three large aftershocks so far, including one that registered a 5.5 magnitude, and other smaller temblors, USGS said.

[Updated at 8:47 p.m.] Residents across southern California and Arizona reported serious ground shakes. "We have not felt a shake like that since about 1979," Michelle Tapia told CNN from Brawley, California.

Joe Madison was shopping at a department store in Palm Springs, California, when he felt the earthquake. "I felt the entire store move and people went running for the exits," he said.

Madison said people gathered outside in the parking lot until the shaking stopped.

[Updated at 8:36 p.m.] Here's a bit of background on what earthquake magnitudes mean. According to the USGS, any quake that falls in the range of 7.0 to 7.9 is considered "major." Such quakes occur, on average, 17 to 18 times a year.

[Updated at 8:25 p.m.] The Los Angeles Times has this statement from the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) following what the paper describes as "preliminary inspections of major infrastructure" in the city. The LAFD statement says:

"All fire stations completed their district drive-through assessment with no significant damage or injuries reported. LAFD had a slight increase in 911 call load mostly associated with automatic alarms and stuck elevators. Again no significant damage or injuries reported."

[Updated at 8:10 p.m.] The USGS has these details on the quake and a real-time map of quakes in the U.S. during the past seven days.

[Updated at 8:02 p.m.] The magnitude of the earthquake in northwestern Mexico - the epicenter - has been upgraded to 7.2 by the USGS. The quake, which shook the ground at least as far as Los Angeles, California, was originally reported by the USGS to have a 6.9 magnitude.

[Posted at 7:23 p.m.] A string of earthquakes rattled the Pacific Coast of the United States and Mexico on Sunday, including a magnitude 6.9 quake that could be felt across Baja California, Arizona and southern California, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

That quake, centered about 110 miles east-southeast of Tijuana, Mexico, was the largest of at least four that struck from the Mexican desert to the northern California wine country, according to the USGS. There was no immediate report of damage or injuries from the quakes in Los Angeles or San Diego, according to authorities in those cities.

"We felt it for about 30 seconds. It was rolling," San Diego County Sheriff's Lt. Scott Ybarrondo said. "Nothing fell off the walls here, but we have reports of pictures falling off walls elsewhere in the county."

See the shaking in San Diego

The northernmost quake report came from near Santa Rosa, California, north of San Francisco. That magnitude 4.1 temblor struck about nine minutes after the Baja California quake and about 500 miles further north.

Chandeliers swung and water sloshed around in swimming pools in the Los Angeles suburbs, witnesses reported, while posters to the Web site Twitter reported feeling the quake in Phoenix, Arizona.

soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. Connie in Goodyear

    While i did not feel the quake, the water in my pool began to splash. Unable to get ahold of my mom in Mexical. Please tell us, whats going on in Mexicali.

    April 4, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Catherine

    We were rockin and rollin in Yuma, AZ and now a bunch of aftershocks....we are on the border with Mexico and anytime there is a quake in Baja, we roll too!.

    April 4, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JD

    Is there damage to the levees or aqueducts?

    April 4, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tammy

    We live in Yuma, Arizona and we felt the earthquake here. We are also have several small aftershocks and one big aftershock.

    April 4, 2010 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Barb Cushing

    Felt the earthquake in Tucson.... The water in our pool began sloshing out onto the pool deck....

    April 4, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. rebecca rodriguez

    i heard there was a second quake up north, please tell me how far up north as i cannot get through to my family and i'm worried sick

    April 4, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Danny Ewing

    I work security at Chase building in Tempe, Az, these buildings swayed. I could see the buildings moving outside. I could see the bridge contort and shake going to our parking garages, the doors rattled, and I had people working in the building running to my desk.

    April 4, 2010 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Isa

    We live in Coolidge,AZ, and hard to belive we felt it here. No after shocks.

    April 4, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. The Rileys

    We're in the Imperial Valley, California and we felt it very stongly here! Stay safe!

    April 4, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Teresa

    Lived in the Imperial Valley more than 40 years, have felt some pretty big earthquakes but NOTHING like what we experienced today. If we were 30 miles away from the epicenter I can only imagine the fear those people felt, because from where we were, it was SCARY!!! Minor damage to knick knacks around the house, a lot of pool water out of the house, rattled nerves.

    April 4, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Gary H

    We felt the earthquake in Fullerton, CA in our two story home. The rolling back and forth lasted literally 2 minutes straight. It may have been one quake after the next but it blended together to seem like the longest shaking I have felt in my 44 years. I am a California native and typically immune to earthquake scares but the duration of this one threw me off and I thought it might be the "big one". Hope Mexicali is ok as well as our boarder towns.

    April 4, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. joe

    we felt here in southern nevada.

    April 4, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sarah

    Can anyone provide information on impact south of epicenter in Baja near La Paz and Loreto.

    April 4, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Lorraine Williams

    My son moved to Tucson just over a week ago and he called and told me that he felt the earthquake. He said te room was moving side to side, he could not believe it.

    April 4, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jesica

    Very scary in Yuma. Building we were in had to be evcuated and the shaking set off the fire alarms. No real damage and no one was hurt, just very scary. We keep feeling the aftershocks too.

    April 4, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7