In The Desert
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Updated April 8th, 2010
---7.2 Earthquake in the Southwest---
The earth had a surprise for all the residents of the Lower Southwest on April 4th at 3:40 in the afternoon. In 1992 there was a similar sized earthquake. An earthquake of this magnitude is very un-common in this region of the Southwest. Although it's epicenter was south of the border below Mexicali it was felt as far away as San Diego, Las Vegas, Yuma, and even Phoenix. It lasted for 1 1/2 minutes or a little longer. This earthquake felt like the ground was rolling and it was hard to stand up. Some even said it made them feel dizzy like you'd feel in a boat in the ocean.
At this point in time 4 / 5 / 10 at least 2 people have died when a parking garage collapsed in Mexicali and others have been injured. The Walmart in downtown Yuma, Arizona was closed and the adjacent Fry's grocery store had a lot of damage from the earthquake. What did it really feel like? You could hardly walk and standing was very hard. The earth was moving in rolls beneath your feet. Many people who live in the fault zones of California are already familiar with this sensation of helplessness. It is scary, because you can't control it.
For an update look at the USGS earthquake map CLICK HERE You can follow the latest earthquake listings at the link above or just go to the Desert Map Page on the site for the links to several different USGS Maps.
Below is the map for 4 / 5 / 10. This is how it looked the day after the big 7.2 quake. See below for a video of the big quake!
This video was taken in a backyard 10 miles east of Yuma, Arizona and shows how much the earth was moving. This was near the end of the earthquake. The person that shot this video (thanks Chad) was doing very good at standing without being moved around. All part of living in the Southwest. Watch the USGS earthquake site for updates.
Here are a few more exclusive photos supplied to us by Patsy Lowe in Ocotillo. She's sitting very near the eqicenter of these quakes and has ventured out to get these photos. This will give you an idea of the kind of damage caused by a quake of this size. From Patsy: "We went for a ride in the desert yesterday to see if there was much damage. Some cliffs were down in the roads but no big problem until we came to Drew road off of highway 98 between Ocotillo and Calexico."
Update on damage by the 7.2 Earthquake
Thank you Pasty for the photos. Patsy is feeling all the atershocks and I'm sure it's getting very annoying. Here are a few statistics for the last few days.
Some 700 aftershocks greater than magnitude-2.5 had been recorded since the quake Sunday. The largest in the sequence - a magnitude-5.7 - hit several hours after the main tremor. A magnitude-4.7 shock hit early Tuesday, centered 30 miles south of Guadalupe Victoria.
The 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit Baja California Sunday may have lasted about a minute, but people in the Yuma, Arizona area could be feeling its effects for weeks to come.
For more info see the USGS link above to keep up with the aftershocks from this swarm of earthquakes.
The main 7.2 quake was only 6.2 miles deep. It was only 29 miles SSE from Mexicali, Baja, California, and just 60 miles WSW of Yuma, Arizona.
The USGS Map shown above for April 5th only has 534 Earthquakes on it. Today 4 / 08 / 10 there over 2, 200 quakes on the same map on their site. Click Here to see the map. Watching this map for years we've never seen a swarm like this at any previous time.
Patsy Lowe over in Ocotillo said they are continually getting woke up by quakes with a seismic reading of 3.5 or larger. This has been going on for 4 days now with no end in sight.
Update for 04 / 08 / 2010