End Times News Update
Sign: Earthquakes
Scripture: Matthew 24:7
News Source: My Way News
===================================================

Powerful Baja quake less devastating than Haiti

Apr 5, 5:38 PM (ET)
By ALICIA CHANG

LOS ANGELES – The Easter earthquake that rattled 20 million people in
three U.S. states and Mexico was bigger than the one in Haiti – yet
the outcome couldn’t be more different.

Why? Scientists say part of the answer is location, location, location.

Only about 500 people in the agricultural communities south of the
growing city of Mexicali were exposed to the most violent shaking.

“If you had to place a large earthquake, this was a good location,”
said seismologist Susan Hough of the U.S. Geological Survey.

The magnitude-7.2 Baja California quake occurred in an area of complex
faults south of the huge San Andreas fault.

The quake began in the southeast section of a fault and moved toward
the northwest, focusing much of its energy on a vast, largely vacant
desert region.

Scientists say the seismic punch would have been a lot worse had the
quake ruptured north toward the Mexicali metropolitan region with
about 900,000 people.

“Call it a near-miss,” said geophysicist David Wald of the USGS
National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo.

A similar thing happened during the 1999 magnitude-7.1 Hector Mine
quake. Though buildings in downtown Los Angeles swayed, the quake
hurled most of its energy toward the desert.

Japan was not as lucky. In 1995, a quake the same size as the Baja
temblor hit the bustling port city of Kobe and killed 6,400 people.

In January, a less powerful magnitude-7.0 quake struck Haiti, killing
a government-estimated 230,000 people and shattering heavily populated
Port-au-Prince, just 15 miles from the epicenter. A month later, a
magnitude-8.8 hit Chile and spawned a tsunami. Several hundred people
died.

Scientists said there is no connection between the Haiti, Chile and
Baja quakes since they occurred on different fault systems.

The Baja quake so far has claimed two lives in Mexico. One man died in
a house collapse, and another was killed when he was struck by a car
as he ran into the street. At least 100 people were injured.

Despite the low human toll, the twin border towns of Calexico, Calif.,
and Mexicali, Mexico, suffered damage to buildings and service
disruption.

Calexico authorities red-tagged the majority of the city’s historic
downtown buildings because of smashed windows or buckled roofs.
Residents were also told to limit their water use because three tanks
that hold the city’s water supply were damaged.

Across the border in Mexico, a parking garage at Mexicali’s city hall
caved in, but there were no injuries. Several homes were destroyed in
farming communities ringing Mexicali.

Structural engineer Jose Restrepo at the University of California, San
Diego, said he was not surprised to see older buildings damaged.

Modern construction standards likely prevented widespread destruction
in fast-growing Mexicali, which underwent a boom of new housing in the
past two decades, Restrepo said.

By contrast, there was no building code in Haiti.

On the Net:

USGS: http://earthquake.usgs.gov

Source: My Way News
URL:
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20100405/D9ET6CUO1.html

Advertisements