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Mexico earthquake shakes Southern California; no major damage reported in Los Angeles [Updated]

April 4, 2010 |  4:21 pm

Earthquake Index Map

An earthquake estimated to be magnitude 6.9 struck in the Guadalupe Victoria area of Baja California this afternoon, shaking skyscrapers in San Diego and Los Angeles.

[Updated, 4:40 p.m.: Caltech seismologists said the latest preliminary estimates place the magnitude at 7.2. That number could change as more data come in.]

The Los Angeles Fire Department said it was going into "earthquake" mode, checking buildings and bridges for possible structural damage and checking reports of people stuck in elevators. Rides were temporarily closed at the Disneyland theme park in Anaheim.

There were no reports of major infrastructure damage in Los Angeles, but reports were still coming in from San Diego and Mexico. San Diego fire officials were responding to at least one report of a damaged building.

There were no power outages in Los Angeles as a result of the quake.

"LAFD has all resources on radio watch and checking their district to ensure safety for all citizens. Firefighters from your 106 neighborhood fire stations are providing a complete survey of 470 square miles in the greater Los Angeles area and are examining transportation infrastructures, large places of assemblage (Dodger Stadium, universities) apartment buildings, power lines, etc, from the ground and the air to ensure safety," the department said in a statement.

The temblor struck at 3:40 p.m. about 108 miles east of Tijuana. In Los Angeles, the quake lasted for several seconds. It was felt across Southern California.

This part of Baja California -- near Mexicali -- has experienced regular seismic activity -- mostly small quakes but also some strong ones. Guadalupe Victoria has recorded numerous minor quakes in the last few weeks.

The quake left nerves rattled in Southern California. A shopper in Buena Park told KABC-TV Channel 7 that he was at a supermarket when the temblor hit. There was no damage in the store, he said, but people ran out in fear. He heard others say they saw electric poles moving.

Hundreds of people so far have reported it on the "Did You Feel It" reporting system at the U.S. Geological Survey.

-- Rong-Gong Lin II, Ruben Vives and Shelby Grad in Los Angeles, Richard Winton in Pasadena and Tony Perry in San Diego

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