A strong earthquake struck Mexico’s Southern Baja California peninsula at dawn Friday, rousing sleepers from their beds, breaking some windows and knocking plaster off La Paz City Hall.
But scientists who monitored Southern Baja’s strongest quake in memory said the peninsula was spared major damage thanks to the buffering effect of the nearby ocean. No injuries or major damage were reported.
“They are lucky today,” said Waverly Person, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo.
The early morning quake measured 6.1 in magnitude, Person said - a strong quake that could have caused deaths and far more serious damage if it had not occured under water off the peninsula.
The epicenter was located in the Bay of La Paz, 20 miles north of the peninsula’s capital, and seawater separating the peninsula from the Mexican mainland buffered its effects.