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The Great Mexicali Earthquake of 2010 – Chapter 2

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Each dot an earthquake and right along the line where Baja California is being split by the Sea of Cortez

Each dot an earthquake and right along the line where Baja California is being split by the Sea of Cortez

Eight long days have passed since the Great Mexicali Earthquake of 2010. Eight long days and perhaps 800 aftershocks ranging from 5+ on the Richter Scale on down.

Every few hours an aftershock – when will it all end?

Friends from as far away as San Diego and Phoenix have felt Mexicali’s aftershocks, and have called to ask how are we doing.

We are doing just fine. However, it has been a whale of a lot of work getting our house back in shape. Luckily there was no structural damage that we are aware of, but what a mess, inside!

Not everyone got off so easy, however. A total of 5,000 families in and around Mexicali lost their homes due to the earthquake.

“We need help in getting hold of tents, because many of these people are going to live in emergency shelters for several weeks while we build new homes for more than 5,000 families in need,” Baja California Governor Jose Guadalupe Osuna Millan said, adding that he had already begun receiving help.

Osuna pointed out that Sunday’s quake was the worst on record in Baja California. The last strong quake was 1940’s magnitude 7. 1.

Tents have taken over the parking lot of the Iglesia Apostolica de la Fe en Cristo Jesus, a church in Mexicali, since Sunday, when the earthquake struck.

“We saw the mountains shaking and dust rose as if somebody was moving them,” said Arturo Macias, pastor of the church who has been trying to calm fears among worshipers since the earthquake. Many of his flock consider the earthquake to be a warning from Jesus.

All 300 patients were evacuated from the Mexicali General Hospital because damage to the building, which was also without electricity and water. Some patients were taken to private clinics but others had to be placed in tents.

Mexicali City Hall parking garage

Mexicali City Hall parking garage

The parking garage at Mexicali’s City Hall collapsed but no one was injured. A miracle!

Still, scientists agree that, in contrast to Haiti, where a lesser 7.0 magnitude earthquake caused thousands of deaths, Mexicali was spared the worst, in part by better construction standards.

This is stuff you don’t see on the U.S. news. One of our kind readers sent us a link to a set of photos that show just how bad it is for the poor folks who have lost their homes.

Folks on both sides of the border are still checking out the damage and trying to repair shattered nerves.

Caltech and the U.S. Geological Survey, called the aftershocks “robust.” Well, who didn’t know that?

And guess what? Those Caltech guys say they have no idea of how to predict an earthquake!

A 4.5 earthquake hit early Saturday morning around where the 7.2 hit and woke up people in San Diego, Palm Springs and southern Orange County.

On Sunday, four quakes measuring above magnitude 4.0 struck in a three-hour period, doing little physical damage but adding to the emotional toll of the never-ending quakes.

Living in Mexicali is like living on a boat.

Across the border, in Calexico, public schools are closed until they get some plan for the 800 students from Jefferson Elementary School, which is considered too badly damaged for use. Two Catholic schools in Calexico will be closed for two days.

The De Anza Hotel, built in 1932

The De Anza Hotel, built in 1932

The grand old De Anza hotel, once a playground for the Hollywood stars, was so damaged that it may have to be torn down. The hotel now serves as a residence for old folks, all of whom have been moved out.

Caltech says the Mexicali earthquake adds to the unusual number of strong shakes reported around the world this year, particularly in Haiti and Chile.

“Shucks,” said Jim, “all these aftershocks really begin to get to you.”

“What’s an aftershock?” asked Matthew.

“It’s another earthquake,” I answered.

“Another earthquake? When will it ever end?” asked Matthew.

“No way of knowing – even them Caltech genius guys ain’t gotta clue.”

De Anza Hotel, today

The De Anza Hotel, today

“Jim, what do you think is going to happen?” asked Matthew.

“One of three things, as I see it.”

“C’mon Jim, you’re just gonna frighten us,” I said.

Jim continued, “Either they stop…”

“Yes,” nodded Matthew.

“Or the earth splits a bit, and the Sea of Cortez comes right on up to Mexicali.”

“Water?” said Matthew.

“Yeah, we could wind up livin on the beach – or on the bottom of the sea,” said Jim calmly.

“Oh my God,” yelled Matthew, “That’s the worst thing anyone could imagine.”

“Well, not quite,” said Jim, with a slight smile.

Now, I was getting interested, so I asked, “Yeah, just what would be worse.”

Jim sat down in his easy chair, and smiled. “Fission – I read about it in this here Christian book, Astronomy and the Bible – it explains that all science is already in the Bible – gives examples, too.”

“Fission?” said Matthew.

“Yeah, fission theory says that the moon split off from the earth like mud thrown off of a truck’s tire and left a huge hole in the earth.”

“A huge hole? What huge hole?” I asked.

“The Pacific Ocean,” answered Jim calmly.

That’s what I so much admire about Jim – he just seems to know everything.

“Yeah,” answered Jim, “and just maybe that’s what happening with all these darn earthquakes – maybe we are gonna split open and throw off a new baby moon.”

“Oh, that’s nuts,” I said, scared out of my mind.

“And what would happen to us?” asked Matthew.

The baby moon head for orbit, taking with it San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Mexicali!

The baby moon heads for orbit, taking with it San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Mexicali!

Jim thought a bit, and then answered, “Guess we would be livin somewheres out there in outer space on a new moon.”

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