Tuesday, August 4, 2009

No Damage in Rocky Point From 6.9 Earthquake in Sea of Cortez



-by La Huerita

There was a lot of chatter yesterday, August 3, about the big earthquakes that struck in the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) late in the morning. There were four earthquakes over a 45-minute period, clustered off the Baja coast near the Bahia de los Angeles (commonly referred to as BOLA by Baja aficionados). The USGS reported that all four quakes occurred at a depth of about 6 miles.

Most folks in Rocky Point didn't feel anything, though there are reports of some swaying in some areas, including in some of the highrise condos as evidenced by a comment from Amateur Hedonist at Las Palomas.

The second quake, the biggest one, struck right around 11:00AM at a whopping 6.9 on the Richter scale and was felt as far away as San Diego, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Tucson, though people in areas much closer to the event noticed nothing. There have been no reports of serious damage anywhere from BOLA to San Felipe on the Baja side, and from San Carlos to Rocky Point on the Sonora side. None of the Rocky Point resorts or condos have reported any damage.

There was definitely a whole lotta shakin' goin' on in BOLA, though.

In terms of the quakes' proximity to Puerto Penasco on the Sonoran side of the Sea of Cortez, they were centered to the northwest of Bahia de Kino (where the local residents DID experience some scary shaking). If you don't know where that is, you haven't been in Sonora long enough. (Just kidding-- Bahia de Kino is west of Hermosillo, north of San Carlos.) That's in the vicinity of 300 miles south of Rocky Point, more or less.

For what it's worth to you, the picture above shows the general location. If you want to see a really good map of the location (and see everywhere else an earthquake has hit recently on the planet) go to http://liveearthquakes.appspot.com/ and zoom in (hat tip to Terry C for the link).

As for the tsunami issue that had many people worried-- stop worrying. These earthquakes occurred along the San Andrea Fault, which is where the Pacific Plate and North American Plate slide past each other as opposed to a fault that shifts vertically. Earthquakes from this kind of fault rarely cause tsunamis, though there may be some heightened wave action locally. A good way to remember it: Plates that slide= rare tsunami; plates that go up and down= more likely tsunami. We're located along the sliding kind.

Bottom line for Rocky Point: No damage, no tsunami, have a Pacifico and chill out. It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood...

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