Monday, April 5, 2010

Strong quake kills 2 in Mexico, rattles US states

clipped from

MEXICALI, Mexico – Aftershocks rattled the southwest Mexico-U.S. border on Monday morning in the aftermath of a major earthquake that killed two people, blacked out cities and forced the evacuation of hospitals and nursing homes.

Sunday's 7.2-magnitude quake, centered just south of the U.S. border near Mexicali, was one of the strongest earthquakes to hit region in decades, shaking at least 20 million people.

It had a shallow depth of 6 miles (10 kilometers). But the human toll was minimal in large part because the energy from the quake moved northwest of Mexicali toward a less populated area, said Jessica Sigala, a geophysicist from the U.S. Geological Survey.

"Construction codes prevented more serious damage," Valdes said. "People see that it always shakes and have improved their construction capacity. Then when the construction codes are implemented, there is stricter control, especially in larger structures."

Men stand next to cracks on a street in Mexicali, Mexico, early Monday, April 5, 2010, aftger a powerful earthquake struck. The quake shook buildings
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