US, Mexico to upgrade border quake system

October 19, 2011 - 2:27 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The U.S. and Mexico will upgrade an earthquake monitoring system along the border between California and Baja California in order to better deal with temblors such as last year's magnitude-7.2 shock and to identify areas at greatest risk of shaking.

Officials announced Wednesday that U.S. quake experts will provide instruments and training to upgrade sensors, computers and training in northern Baja California. Both countries are funding the program.

Last year's big Easter Sunday earthquake struck just south of the border near Mexicali, killing two people in Mexico and causing widespread damage.

The head of Mexico's disaster prevention agency, Roberto Quaas Weppen, says the lack of instruments to identify the quake strength and a loss of communications made it hard to identify and send help to the worst-hit areas.