Quake near border shakes San Diego area - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Quake near border shakes San Diego area

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Posted: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 12:42 pm | Updated: 2:34 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

SAN DIEGO — A magnitude-5.8 earthquake in northern Baja California rocked the U.S.-Mexico border region Wednesday, causing buildings to sway more than 100 miles to the west in downtown San Diego. Several news outlets even reported the quake was felt as far away as Yuma and the Valley.

SAN DIEGO — A magnitude-5.8 earthquake in northern Baja California rocked the U.S.-Mexico border region Wednesday, causing buildings to sway more than 100 miles to the west in downtown San Diego. Several news outlets even reported the quake was felt as far away as Yuma and the Valley.

The main quake was centered about 20 miles southeast of the Mexican border city of Mexicali, 53 miles west of Yuma, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was followed quickly by a 4.9 quake and other aftershocks.

San Diego County sheriff's Lt. Anthony Ray said there were no immediate reports of damage or injury.

Busy phone circuits made it difficult to get information from Mexicali or authorities on the U.S. side of the border in Imperial County immediately after the quake. People in Calexico, on the U.S. side of the border from Mexicali, reported buildings shaking violently.

Two smaller quakes preceded the main shock, which was initially reported at magnitude-5.9 before being downgraded slightly.

Julie Dutton, a geophysicist with the USGS, said the area is seismically active.

"It's definitely nothing that's unusual," she said.

The quake occurred 4.3 miles deep and is considered shallow. Shallower quakes have the potential to cause more damage than deeper ones, Dutton said.

Residents of Mexicali and Calexico occasionally endure short periods of time when small, frequent tremors rattle nerves but cause little damage.

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