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Two killed in Mexico earthquake

Tuesday, April 06, 2010 08:11:58 AM, IANS/EFE

Strong earthquake rocks US-Mexico border area: An earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale hit the Mexican peninsula of Baja California Sunday afternoon, the US Geological  .....Read Full

Mexico City: Two people have been killed and 233 injured in the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the northwestern Mexican state of Baja California, the state’s governor said Monday.

Most of the damage in the earthquake that occurred Sunday was concentrated around Mexicali, a city of nearly 1 million people that serves as the state capital, Governor Jose Guadalupe Osuna told Televisa.

One person was killed when a house collapsed during the earthquake Sunday in Colonia Nueva, a town in the Mexicali Valley, about 18 kilometers from the temblor’s epicentre, Baja California emergency management office director Alfredo Escobedo said.

The other fatality occurred when a wall collapsed in the capital’s downtown, the governor said.

Irrigation ditches used to water some 60,000 hectares (148,148 acres) of crops were damaged in the Mexicali Valley, but federal officials have already dispatched heavy machinery to “re-channel the water into the canals,” Osuna said.

Power outages and problems with the telephone system have made casualty and damage assessment difficult, especially in Mexicali.

There are “problems with the hospital infrastructure,” with some patients being treated out in the open or under tarps, the governor said.

The powerful earthquake hit around 5.40 p.m. Sunday and has been followed so far by 35 aftershocks that were felt from Southern California to the neighboring state of Sonora.

The quake knocked down power lines, toppled telephone poles, knocked out cell sites and damaged houses, the secretariat said.

The Mexicali-Tecate highway was damaged by the earthquake, but officials have not yet assessed the extent of the damage.

Baja California state officials established four shelters for quake victims and cancelled classes and sporting events Monday in Mexicali.

Osuna said he planned to ask the federal government Monday to declare Mexicali a disaster area so Natural Disaster Fund resources could be released.

Power should be restored during the day to most of the areas affected by the temblor, state electric utility spokesman Estefano Conde said Monday.







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