The U.S. and Mexican governments are working together to install earthquake monitoring equipment in Baja California in a joint effort to improve disaster preparedness and response in both countries.
U.S. Northern Command, a division of the Department of Defense, and U.S. Geological Survey scientists are providing instruments and training to strengthen the Mexican seismic networks in northwest Mexico. The cooperative effort is at the request of the Mexican National Center for Prevention of Disasters.
During the April 4 magnitude 7.2 earthquake in Baja, Calif., Mexico lacked access to immediate strong-motion data to evaluate the intensity of ground shaking. This made it difficult for authorities to quickly assess the quake's impact on people and infrastructure.
"Earthquake faults don't stop at international borders and neither should science," Anne Castle, assistant secretary for water and science of the U.S. Department of the Interior, said in a press statement. "The scientific collaboration between the United States and Mexico results in a better understanding of the seismic hazard affecting both nations."
After the 2010 quake, U.S. Geological Survey scientists recommended that Mexican-owned seismometers be installed in Baja California. Real-time data from the equipment will be used to protect lives and property in northern Baja California and southern California.