April 5, 2010

Mexico, Parts of U.S. Hit By Major Quake

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake rocked Mexico and parts of the Western United States on Sunday, leaving at least two dead and 100 injured according to early media reports.

It was reportedly the most powerful quake to strike the region in decades.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake occurred at 3:40pm and was centered just outside of Mexicali, where both fatalities occurred. Mexican officials reported that one individual died when his house collapsed, and another was struck by a car after fleeing into the street, which was dark due to a quake-caused power outage.

The 40-second earthquake "shook tens of millions of people across two countries and three states swaying high-rise buildings from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and the border town of Tijuana," according to Sarah Gordon of the UK's Mail Online website. "In California, Disneyland rides were closed and inspected for damage and several historic hotels were evacuated as a precautionary measure."

One Facebook user, located in Manhattan Beach said, "the ground was moving like water... It actually made me seasick."

"It's been quite a while since we've had an earthquake this large," seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones told reporters afterwards. "It sounds like it's felt by at least 20 million people at this point."

Three aftershocks followed within the hour following the initial earthquake. Those aftershocks had magnitudes of 5.1, 4.5, and 4.3, and were followed by smaller tremors later on in the day. Jones, a member of the U.S. Geological Survey, warned that more seismic activity may follow. More aftershocks were also felt early this morning.

"Don't be surprised if you feel something in the next few days," she told ABC News on April 5. "We need to remember that every earthquake we have has the possibility of triggering another earthquake."


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