An earthquake initially reported at a 6.9 magnitude struck at 3:40 p.m. today near Mexicali in Baja California.
Seismologists revised the quake to 7.2 magnitude, making it the largest quake in the region since 1992. It was felt in Santa Barbara, Las Vegas and Phoenix.
U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones said at least 20 million people across the Southwestern United States and Mexico felt the earthquake. She also said that any earthquake has a 5 percent chance of triggering something larger than itself and that people should prepare for aftershocks.
Sure enough, a magnitude 4.1 earthquake hit the Santa Monica Bay 6 miles south of Malibu about two hours later, and scientists say it is connected to the Mexicali temblor.
Information about damage in Mexicali remains sketchy, but photos posted on Twitter show significant damage to buildings and stores. There are no reports of structural damage in Greater Los Angeles.
In our home, pictures swayed on the walls and objects moved across our tables and countertops. The building swayed for about a minute, starting slow with the motion becoming stronger. The elevators in the building automatically shut off after an earthquake, so we’ll be using the stairs for the rest of the day.