SOURCE: New York Times
By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD
and DERRICK HENRY
LOS ANGELES - An earthquake centered in Baja California in Mexico shook buildings as far north as Los Angeles Sunday afternoon.
The earthquake was centered in the Baja California, about 16 miles south-southwest of Guadalupe Victoria, the United States Geological Service said. The quake had a magnitude of 7.2.
High-rise buildings in Los Angeles and San Diego rocked back and forth as the quake hit. The earthquake shook houses in Los Angeles for roughly a minute, and aftershocks then followed.
The 7.2 earthquake occurred about 20.1 miles below the earth’s surface, the geological survey said. Experts have said that such a depth increases the chances that the earth might absorb a majority of the shock, reducing the chances of damage on the surface. A 7.2 earthquake can cause major damage in structures, crack the ground and shift foundations.
There were no immediate reports of damage or injury. The Los Angeles Fire Department went on earthquake alert and began inspecting overpasses for damage.
Emergency officials urged residents to contact each other using text messages in order to keep cellphone signals clear for emergency workers responding to distress calls.
The geological survey reported another 3.4 earthquake at 3:55 p.m. centered 35 miles east-northeast of San Diego. It was not immediately clear if that was related to the 7.2 earthquake. A viewer told CNN that their boat in San Diego Harbor began rocking from the quake and that pilings began shaking for several seconds.
The quake quickly affected other areas. In Century City, KABC-TV reported that a woman was trapped in an elevator in Century City. And at the LAX Airport, some passengers told CNN that they had felt rumbling and were worried that flights might be delayed.