Mexico City (AFP) Aug 3, 2009
Four earthquakes, the strongest registering 6.9 magnitude, struck the Gulf of California off Mexico's west coast Monday, according to multiple monitoring services, with no reports of damage.
The tremors caused no casualties and no major damage said Carlos Valdez, head of Mexico's National Seismological Center (SSN), which has ruled out the risk of tsunamis.
The series of quakes began with a 5.8-magnitude tremor at 10:55 am local time (1755 GMT), followed by one registering a magnitude of 6.9 five minutes later.
Two more tremors, measuring 5.0 and 5.9 magnitude, followed within an hour, according to reports by the US Geological Survey (USGS), SSN and the US Tsunami Warning Center.
USGS said the epicenter of the strongest quake was 89 kilometers (56 miles) north-northeast of Santa Isabel in Baja California, Mexico, and had a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), with a variation of plus or minus 7.1 kilometers (4.4 miles).
The Gulf of California is a small strip of ocean in between the Baja California peninsula and Sonora state. No damage was reported in either area.
Much of Baja California, Mexico's northernmost and westernmost state, is sparsely populated, filled instead with deserts and mountains. But its coast, dotted with small fishing ports, is very popular with tourists attracted to its diverse marine life.
The quakes were not felt on the other side of the gulf in Sonora state's capital Hermosillo, an AFP journalist reported, although local media reported the tremors were felt across the border in San Diego, California, where they prompted the evacuation of a downtown office building.
The Baja California cities of Tijuana and Ensenada, close to the biggest quake's epicenter, also had no reported damage, Valdez told AFP.
There appeared to be no imminent threat of tidal waves from the quakes, USGS said, although individual governments were advised to make their own decisions on whether to issue a tsunami warning.
"Earthquakes of this size sometimes generate local tsunamis that can be destructive along coasts located within a few hundred kilometers of the earthquake epicenter," it added.
"Authorities in the region of the epicenter should be aware of this possibility and take appropriate action."
But Valdez said "these events are not uncommon in this region." The tremor, he explained, is caused by tectonic plates being displaced laterally, which does not cause tsunamis.
These types of quakes therefore only produce minor damage, unlike those caused by tectonic plates pressing against one another in a more vertical fashion.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest
Completion Of First Riser-Drilling Operations In Quake Zone
Southampton, UK (SPX) Aug 03, 2009
Despite harsh weather and ocean conditions, and complex geological characteristics of its drill site, the deep-sea drilling vessel CHIKYU, for the first time in the history of scientific ocean drilling, conducted riser-drilling operations to drill successfully down to a depth of 1,603.7 meters beneath the seafloor (at water depth of 2,054 meters). Engaged in the Integrated Ocean Drilling ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2009 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|