Two strong earthquakes shake Mexican desert in Baja California

April 12th, 2012 - 8:05 pm ICT by BNO News  

GUERRERO NEGRO, MEXICO (BNO NEWS) — Two strong earthquakes just minutes apart shook a desert region in the Mexican state of Baja California on early Thursday morning, seismologists said, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The first earthquake at 12:05 a.m. local time (0705 GMT), which had a magnitude of 6.0 on the Richter scale, was sentenced in a mountainous desert region in Baja California, just west of San Lorenzo Island in the Gulf of California. It struck about 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the Mexican Seismological Service (SSN).

Minutes later, at 12:15 a.m. local time (0715 GMT), a stronger earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 on the Richter scale struck the same region in Baja California. The second earthquake, some 110 kilometers (68 miles) northeast of Guerrero Negro, was slightly more shallow at a depth of just 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), SSN reported.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS), which measured the earthquakes at magnitudes 6.2 and 6.9, respectively, estimated that some 108,000 people near the epicenter may have felt strong to very strong shaking. Another 1.5 million people further away from the epicenter may have felt light to moderate shaking, the agency estimated.

There were no reports of serious damage or casualties.

Thursday’s earthquakes followed a strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake which struck off the Pacific coast of Mexico on late Wednesday afternoon, causing tall buildings to sway as far away as Mexico City but causing no damage or casualties. The earthquake on Wednesday was unrelated to Thursday’s events.

Mexico sits on the so-called ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’, an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin which is prone to frequent and large earthquakes. Late last month, a powerful 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck southwestern Mexico, killing at least two people and injuring 11 others.

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