Magnitude-5.7 quake, aftershocks rattle Calif-Mexico border region that saw deadly April quake

By Elliot Spagat, AP
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Aftershocks rattle Calif-Mexico border region

SAN DIEGO — Hundreds of aftershocks jiggled the U.S.-Mexico border Tuesday after a moderate earthquake struck the seismically active region that was still recovering from a deadly Easter jolt.

There were no reports of injuries or serious damage from the magnitude-5.7 earthquake Monday night centered 85 miles east of San Diego.

More than 400 smaller quakes have been recorded. Many were too small to be felt, but there were several sizable ones, including a magnitude-4.5, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

“People in that area will definitely be feeling aftershocks,” USGS seismologist Susan Hough said.

The latest border quakes were considered aftershocks of the Easter Sunday magnitude-7.2 earthquake that killed two people in Mexico and caused $100 million in damage to California alone.

It’s not uncommon for a major quake to produce a flurry of aftershocks. More than 5,000 aftershocks have hit since Easter.

“Aftershocks can go on for months and years,” said Egill Hauksson, a seismologist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

A large swath of Southern California reported feeling Monday’s quake. It was also felt in western Arizona and south of the U.S.-Mexico border in Mexicali and Tijuana, according to resident reports to the USGS.

In Mexicali, 17 hospitals were evacuated after the quake, said Rene Rosado, the city’s director of civil defense.

The shaking temporarily interrupted the Toronto Blue Jays-San Diego Padres game at Petco Park in downtown San Diego. The public address announcer asked everyone to remain calm. The crowd cheered.

David Eckstein of the Padres had just grounded out in the bottom of the inning when the stadium began shaking. The next batter, Chase Headley, stayed out of the batter’s box for a few seconds then stepped in.

Louis Fuentes, chairman of the Imperial County Board of Supervisors, said the chandeliers swayed at his home but nothing fell from the shelves.

“As soon as it hit, my wife said, ‘grab the baby.’ My daughter ran out to the back yard,” said Fuentes, who was in his garage in Calexico, about 30 miles east of the epicenter. “It thumped really hard.”

The quake followed a series of jolts that struck Southern California over the weekend, including a pair of moderate earthquakes that rattled the Borrego Springs desert area 60 miles northeast of San Diego.

AP Sports Writer Bernie Wilson in San Diego and AP Writers Alicia Chang, Daisy Nguyen and Denise Petski in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

will not be displayed