Earthquakes strike off Mexico
Two strong quakes struck off Mexico's Pacific coast within 10 minutes of each other Thursday, with no immediate reports of casualties or damage.
Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 07:52 AM
QUAKES: The earthquakes were felt in Mexico as well as parts of the states of California and Arizona. (Photo: AFP)
Two strong earthquakes struck off Mexico's Pacific coast within 10 minutes of each other Thursday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, with no immediate reports of casualties or damage.
A 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit at 12:06 am in the Gulf of California, 88 miles northeast of the town of Guerrero Negro in the Mexican state of Baja California, according to the USGS.
Less than 10 minutes later a larger 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck a few miles away. Two smaller quakes were also recorded in the area.
USGS geophysicist Randy Baldwin confirmed the separate earthquakes and said it was not unusual to have more than one occur in the same area at the same time, particularly in Baja California.
"This is very seismically active area," he told AFP by telephone from the USGS National Earthquake Information Center in Colorado.
He said the earthquakes had been felt in Mexico as well as parts of the states of California and Arizona, but that the center had received no reports of damage.
George Lopez, a civil protection official in Guerrero Negro, said there were no casualties or damage in the town but that the earthquakes had caused some panic among residents and tourists who had come to the area for whale watching.
The two earthquakes came hours after a 6.5-magnitude quake shook western Mexico, sending people rushing out into the streets as far away as Mexico City but apparently causing no casualties or major damage.
There has been a series of recent tremors in the region.
A powerful 7.4-magnitude earthquake rocked southwest Mexico on March 20, killing two people, injuring 13 others and damaging thousands of homes.
That earthquake — with its epicenter south of the Pacific resort of Acapulco — was the most powerful to hit the country since one in 1985, which destroyed entire neighborhoods of the capital and killed thousands of people.
Residents of Mexico's crowded capital — home to more than 20 million people — are all too familiar with seismic activity and have grown used to evacuation drills.
The city government recently introduced an earthquake warning app for BlackBerry cell phones and plans to install public speakers to broadcast alarms.
Copyright 2012 AFP Global Edition