Earthquake in Baja California

Aug 4, 2009 Baja California earthquake I was ticked off! I didn't feel nothing! I was sitting down on a fence eating lunch at the library! I didn't feel that 5 that hit Santa Monica when I was living in El Segundo either. I was pissed! I slept thru it. I did feel the Northridge earthquake when I was living in Tempe. It shook my waterbed. And of course I was in the Chatsworth earthquake.

The earthquake was about 100 miles west of Hermosillo in the Gulf of California or the Sea of Cortez as the Mexicans call it.

I didn't know it but the San Andres fault goes west along the California Mexico border and then when it gets to the Gulf of California it goes south thru the Gulf of Calinforia.


Valley feels tremors from Baja earthquakes

by John Faherty - Aug. 4, 2009 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic

Across the Valley, people turned to each other at about 11 o'clock Monday morning. They all wanted to know one thing. "Did you feel that?"

What they felt were the tremors from a series of powerful earthquakes that shook Mexico's Gulf of California.

Brandon Lamb, 26, of Mesa, was on the 17th floor of a building at Alma School Road and Southern Avenue.

"The blinds started hitting the windows, and you could feel the floor moving beneath you," Lamb said. "About 45 seconds went by before someone that had experienced earthquakes before said, 'This is definitely an earthquake.' "

To even feel an earthquake is rare in Arizona, where the greatest natural threats to health and property are flooding and forest fires.

California's devastating Northridge earthquake in January 1994 was felt in this state. People in Yuma felt a quake centered south of Palm Springs in 2005.

Jodie Larson, 32, at first thought she was only dizzy when Monday's earthquake reached as far as the Valley.

Then she looked up at the lights, and they appeared to be swaying. She was on the 10th floor of her building on Central Avenue and Indian School Road in Phoenix. Because she works in a chiropractor's office, she had instant proof.

"The fake spine was swaying, as well. I called back to (the doctor's office) and asked if he felt the building move. He said he just thought he was getting sick as well," Larson said. "I immediately called security, and they said they received a ton of calls asking the same thing."

She took her son down to the lobby, where she found "half the people from our building" outside.

Chad Sauerbry, 29, felt a vibration in his home office in the Biltmore area of Phoenix.

He saw the lights sway and watched the water in his glass begin to shimmer.

"That was weird," he thought, before going back to work for about 20 minutes.

"I got a text-message alert from saying, 'Phoenix feels tremors from Baja earthquakes.' At that point I connected the dots and realized what it was that I felt."

Arizona's three largest quakes, which had magnitudes between 6 and 6.2, happened in 1906, 1910 and 1912. They were all in northern Arizona. The 1906 quake caused minor damage in Flagstaff.

Monday's quakes were far bigger than that.

The U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center said they ranged in size from magnitude 5.0 to 6.9.

The quakes were centered in the waters of the Gulf of California about 150 miles south of Rocky Point and about 460 miles from Phoenix.

There were no reports of injuries or damage.

U.S. authorities said there was no tsunami threat to Hawaii or the Pacific coast of the United States.

The Gulf of California coast was put on alert for large waves, said Alfredo Escobedo, the director of the Baja California civil protection service.

In Arizona, the quake remained more a curiosity than a threat.

Ken Ferrell, 45, of Scottsdale, felt nothing, but he was certain he saw the water in his pool rise up about 3 to 5 inches.

"I thought someone or something had fallen in," he said. "When I saw nothing in the pool and verified that the pool equipment had been off since 7 a.m., I knew it had to be an earthquake."

Roger Hall, 45, of Chandler, was busy in his office on the 11th floor of a building on Central Avenue in Phoenix when he felt his building move.

First, he heard the blinds banging against the window. Then he saw some Mardi Gras beads hanging from his doorknob begin to sway. Then his chair began to move underneath him.

"I called out to the person in the next office, 'Are we having an earthquake?' " Hall said.

"Having gone to college in California, and having had some experience with earthquakes, it was more exciting than scary."

The confusion about just what happened was not confined to the Valley.

Even in Mexico, there were more questions than answers in the hour after the Earth shook.

Manuel Uato works for the Red Cross in Rocky Point, and he hadn't even heard about it. "What time did it happen?" he asked.

The Associated Press and Arizona Republic reporters Shaun McKinnon, Sean Holstege, Dan Gonzalez, Laura Trujillo, Robert Anglen and Chris Hawley contributed to this article.


Earthquake temblors a rarity in Arizona

by Shaun McKinnon - Aug. 3, 2009 12:27 PM

The Arizona Republic

Like most Western states, Arizona sits atop fault lines that occasionally shift and produce earthquakes, but most of the strongest temblors felt in recent years occurred in neighboring states or in Mexico.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, an earthquake has never killed or seriously injured anyone in Arizona. All of the quakes recorded within the state's borders over the past century were in the moderate category. Most were reported in northern parts of the state.

The largest quake ever recorded in Arizona was July 21, 1959. It was a magnitude 5.6 and was centered near Fredonia, along the Arizona-Utah border. Windows broke in houses and stores and items fell from shelves.

A rock slide at Mather Point in the Grand Canyon was likely caused by the quake, the USGS reports.

A series of 52 quakes, recorded in September 1910, shook the Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff. Construction crews fled a work camp and, according to a USGS account, "the earth maintained a constant quiver."

Two years later, a tremor broke open a 50-mile crack north of the San Francisco mountains. Rock slides were reported and the earth rolled "like waves on the Colorado River," the USGS writes.

In 1935, a quake awakened visitors at the Grand Canyon. People reported a low rumble and movement of houses and other structures. Walls cracked and rock slides were reported.

One of the most remembered earthquakes was also centered in Mexico, in 1887. The temblor left "great destruction" near Bavispe, Mexico, about 190 miles southeast of Tucson, the USGS says.

The quake was felt in Tucson, Benson and Tombstone, where someone reported sounds "like prolonged artillery fire."


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