By now many of you have heard of the 7.2 earthquake that struck Baja California on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2010. The epicenter of the quake was about 38 miles southwest of San Luis Rio Colorado, and it caused substantial damage in both San Luis and in Mexicali. I don't have any information yet about damage in nearby El Gulfo de Santa Clara.
So far in Mexicali 3 quake related deaths have been reported along with about 230 injuries and at least 30 collapsed or damaged buildings. The injury and property damage estimates are expected to rise.
You can find some information and a slide show about San Luis' damage in CNN's I Report at http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-429350 Power and phone services in both San Luis and Mexicali were about 90% restored by late Monday Night, and the fires have all been put out or burned themselves out. You can watch some videos from Mexicali and other locations at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXDfZKVPjOk
Rocky Point residents also felt the quake strongly, though so far there are no reports of injuries. The quake was reported to be a slow, rolling motion lasting from 15 to 30 seconds, depending on the reporter. It sloshed water out of pools, swayed lamps and chandeliers, knocked items off shelves and sent people running into the streets but doesn't seem to have caused major damage throughout the area.
Government officials are checking the status of the roads leading to Rocky Point for damage; there have been reports of cracked pavement and sections of upheaval, but so far it looks like both the new Coastal Highway and Hwy. 8 from Sonoyta are open.
There is an unconfirmed report that the pool at Tessoro at Las Conchas lost all its water, leading to speculation that the pool may have cracked. I have no further information about that at this time.
There are also reports that Las Palomas and the beach in front of it were evacuated as a safety precaution, but no property damage has been reported yet.
The quake is the largest to hit Mexico since a 7.6 magnitude temblor struck offshore of Colima in 2003, according to USGS records. That quake destroyed 2,005 homes, killed 29 people and left about 10,000 homeless, the U.S. agency said.
We have been lucky to avoid such major destruction with this earthquake. When I get more details I'll post updates here.