Calif. Braces for Aftershocks after 7.2 Baja Quake

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WASHINGTON -- Experts are warning millions in the Baja California area to brace for aftershocks following a powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake, Sunday.

It was the largest tremor to hit the region in about 20 years.

Home footage of the disaster was shot in the middle of strong, gusty winds in El Cajon, Calif. as the quake interrupted what was a sunny Easter afternoon.

"That was the scariest thing I ever experienced," one resident said.

Sunday's earthquake hit hardest in Mexicali, Mexico, along California's border, triggered south of the San Andreas Fault. It was the latest in the region of the Ring of Fire which circles the Pacific Ocean.

Aftershocks Rattle Residents

The tremor was immediately followed by more than 20 aftershocks with one registered a high as 5.1.

"The ground started shifting. I'm like 'Am I having a dizzy spell?' And then it happened again," one resident recalled. "Then something told me to stop looking around. And then I'm seeing all these people coming out of their homes and then I'm seeing people walking down the street."

At least 100 people in Mexicali were injured and some people are still trapped in their homes. The temblor cracked roads, toppled buildings, shattered windows and knocked out power across the city.

As of Monday morning, two deaths had been reported. All 300 patients at the General Hospital were forced to leave because the building had no power or water.

"Both in California and Mexico, we have plenty of buildings that we know are susceptible of falling down in this kind of shaking. This is a pretty big earthquake," U.S. Geological Survey Seismologist Lucy Jones said.

Quake Felt by Millions

Meanwhile, about 100 miles away, employees and guests at one San Diego hotel evacuated the building after hotel staff found cracks in the floor.

"I was talking to the concierge and I noticed that the aquarium started shaking and I said to the concierge 'That's going to go' and she ran out and I ran out right behind her," said one quake survivor.

Experts say at least 20 million people were affected by the quake that was so powerful it was felt more than 300 miles away in Las Vegas.

Damage in the border city of Calexico, Calif., was so bad that the downtown area had to be closed indefinitely since a lot of the buildings - built in the 1930s and 1940s - weren't retrofitted for a strong earthquake like this one.

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John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Anchor

John Jessup serves as the main news anchor for CBN, a position he assumed after 10 years reporting for the network in Washington, D.C. His work in broadcast news has earned him several awards in reporting, producing, and coordinating elections coverage. Follow John on Twitter @JohnCBNNews and "like" him at