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Swarm of 14 Quakes Hits Just South of the Border

September 12, 2003|Kenneth Reich | Times Staff Writer

A swarm of 14 earthquakes, the strongest a magnitude 3.7, struck just south of the Mexican border near Calexico on Thursday, but there were no reports of damage or injuries.

Caltech seismologists put the epicenter of the quakes 16 miles southeast of Calexico, in an area that is often seismically active. Their depth was about four miles.

The quakes started at 12:30 a.m. and continued until 3:35 p.m., with the 3.7 occurring at 10:03 a.m.

A geothermal field, with magma underlying the surface, is present in the Imperial Valley and nearby sections of Baja California. The area often provides the locale for swarms of quakes that may last for days.

In May, there was a four-day swarm of 141 quakes near the town of Brawley in the Imperial Valley. In a nearby town, about 1,000 quakes were felt over several days in 1981.

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