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More than two dozen earthquakes rattle Southern California

More than two dozen earthquakes struck Monday night near the U.S.-Mexican border in San Diego County, rocking a large swath of Southern California and prompting a momentary shutdown of the San Diego Padres game but causing no apparent major damage, officials said. Quakemap

The largest of the quakes -- a magnitude 5.7 temblor -- was recorded at 9:26 p.m., the U.S. Geological Survey said. It could be felt throughout Los Angeles County.

That quake was centered five miles southeast of Ocotillo in San Diego County and 16 miles east-northeast of Jacumba in eastern San Diego County, the survey agency said. The other quakes -- ranging from magnitude 1.0 to 4.1  -- were concentrated in the same general area, USGS said.

The earthquakes were all aftershocks of a 7.2 quake that rocked Mexico's Baja California peninsula April 4, according to experts.

“I don't think it's that unusual,” Thomas Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center at USC, said of the series of quakes that rattled that region Monday.

He noted that the northern end of the fault where the Mexican quake struck has been very active in recent months. “It’s been especially rich at the north end of the fault,” Jordan said.

Unlike the April 4 quake -- which killed at least one person and buckled roads in the twin border cities of Mexicali and Calexico -- the swarm of quakes Monday night caused no major damage, authorities said.

Kate Hutton, a seismologist at Cal Tech in Pasadena, said a magnitude 5.7 quake “is big enough to get your attention” but usually will not cause major structural damage, thanks to California’s building codes.

The jolt from the magnitude 5.7 temblor was especially strong in San Diego, where officials halted the game between the Padres and the Toronto Blue Jays for several minutes in the eighth inning at Petco Park stadium.

The announcer called for calm, the crowd cheered and the game resumed. Television announcer Dick Enberg joked that the quake may have moved home plate because the Blue Jays were having trouble throwing strikes in the ninth inning.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego and Robert J. Lopez in Los Angeles

 
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