Baja California, Mexico Easter Sunday Earthquake
A magnitude 7.2 earthquake shook parts of Baja California, Mexico and the southwestern United States yesterday afternoon (April 4, 2010). This is the largest earthquake to strike that area since 1892. The earthquake’s epicenter is reported to be 16 miles southwest of Guadalupe Victoria, Baja California, Mexico at a depth of 6.2 miles.
According to the United States Geological Survey, the Laguna Salada fault system appears to be involved in this earthquake. The USGS is waiting for more information to confirm this detail. This fault system runs parallel to, but is distinct from, the San Andreas fault system. There are a number of fault systems in the area along the boundary of the Pacific and North American plates, and the geology of the fault systems in this area is complicated. For more general information on earthquake science, visit the USGS.gov site or read this post I wrote after the earthquake in Haiti.
If you want to watch the area for earthquake aftershocks, which are likely to continue for several days, there is a map of real-time US/Northern Mexico earthquake activity here.
If you live in the region, you can become part of the data collection effort by reporting your experience to the “Did you feel it?” section of the USGS website and see maps of your response and others.
Right now (Monday, April 5, 2010) it appears that damage was moderate to light in most areas and casualties are few. As more accurate information reaches news outlets from some of the more isolated areas in Mexico this may be revised.