By Mario Conde
A 7.2 earthquake struck the Imperial County the evening of Easter Sunday causing major damage to the region.
The epicenter was located 18 miles south of Mexicali at Guadalupe Victoria in Mexicali Valley. Mexicali had serious damage on its roads and it was reported that six houses burned and a three story parking lot under construction collapsed and power was suspended city-wide until the early Monday morning. Governor Jose Guadalupe Osuna Millan has declared a State of Emergency in all of Baja California.
Mexicali authorities say that they have treated 140 people for injuries and have confirmed one person died inside a collapsed building and another one died when the subject ran outside and was hit by a car. The earthquake rattled Arizona and was felt in San Diego, La Jolla, Coachella Valley, and part of Los Angeles.
Here in Calexico, downtown area was shut down completely since there was important structural damage to some businesses. Code enforcement officials were inspecting buildings Monday morning. The port of entry was closed for vehicles but was open for pedestrians who were able to cross to Mexicali. The local police department and the Border Patrol are securing the area and not allowing pedestrians in that area.
City Manager Victor Carrillo informed that the Calexico water treatment plant, which provides 40 million gallons of water to the city, is severely damaged and needs some major repair but is asking residents to rationalize their water consumption. Carrillo also said that some buildings at downtown Calexico were severely damaged and were red tagged. City Hall and SDSU Calexico suspended their operations Monday.
De Anza Hotel in Calexico also suffered damages with cracks insides and outside the building. Seniors at De Anza Hotel were immediately moved to Hollies Hotel in Calexico and will stay there until the building engineers form Chelsea make their evaluation.