Police patrol border area as aftershocks continue

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Police patrol border area as aftershocks continue

Post  ladyfirst2010 on Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:07 pm

By William M. Welch, USA TODAY
LOS ANGELES Police in Calexico patrolled streets littered with shattered glass Monday as aftershocks continued to rock the U.S-Mexican border area in the wake of an earthquake on Easter Sunday.

No injuries were reported in Calexico, the area hardest hit in the USA by the magnitude-7.3 quake. A 3-block-by-4-block area containing prewar buildings housing businesses was closed because of damage.

CALIFORNIA AFTERSHOCKS MAP: An in-depth look
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"There's broken windows, some cracked masonry buildings" and some buildings had falling bricks, although none was in immediate danger of collapse, police Lt. Jesus Serrano said.

The quake centered south of the U.S. border near Mexicali killed two people in Mexico. One man was killed when his home collapsed just outside of Mexicali, and another died when he ran into the street in panic and was struck by a car.

At least 100 people were injured, including someone who was hit in the head by a sign at a carwash in the California town of El Centro.

At least a half-dozen aftershocks with magnitudes of 5 to 5.4 were reported, including a magnitude-5.1 shaker at 4:14 a.m. centered near El Centro.

Scientists measured about 100 aftershocks early Monday morning, said seismologist Kate Hutton at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

"Aftershocks have become less frequent overnight, and they will continue to do so over the next few days and weeks," but they could continue for years, she said.

The quake was one of the strongest earthquakes to hit the region in decades, rocking buildings from Los Angeles to Phoenix to Las Vegas. Water splashed out of swimming pools across Southern California, and the tremor caused minor damage in parts of Imperial County.

Robert Valadez of El Centro, Calif., said the earthquake woke him before he was to go to work at a 7-Eleven.

"Everything fell down," said Valadez, a cashier. "My TV's broken right now, my computer fell down. All the cabinets, the doors opened and all the cups and everything from the cabinets, everything is broken."

Arizona State University student Kari McBride, 20, who works at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Phoenix, said the quake shook the pediatric intensive care unit. "You could feel the entire building shaking," she said.

Cal Tech seismologist Egill Hauksson said the quake appeared to have been centered 6 miles underground. Scientists were hampered by the lack of U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) quake sensors in Mexico and analyzed data from U.S.-based sensors.

Sara Hernandez, 47, of Imperial, Calif., was visiting her parents' home in Calipatria, about 25 miles to the north of Imperial. "My dad's truck was swaying you could see it bouncing off the ground," she said.

In Tijuana, Mexico, city spokeswoman Maricarmen Viera said there were no reports of injuries or death but the quake caused cracks in some buildings, including City Hall.

Four people were rescued when they were trapped in a hotel elevator, and some electrical lines were down.

The 7.2 quake was one of the strongest felt in Southern California in decades and stirred memories of 1994's magnitude-6.7 earthquake at Northridge in the San Fernando Valley that killed at least 60 people.

Contributing: Associated Press

ladyfirst2010
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