Incredible Photo: Dust Rises Off Mountains After Mexicali Quake


Via NBC San Diego: "Brothers traveling in Mexico during Sunday's deadly earthquake photographed a surreal sight: The power of the quake lifting a layer of dust off a mountain range.
The dramatic photographs were shot by Roberto and Adrian Marquez Marquez just after the 3:40 p.m magnitude 7.2 quake. The pictures show the area around La Rumorosa, the highest point in Tecate."

There's a little more than a touch of apocalypse to this.


  1. MT says

    Speaking of the earthquake, I have a question I hope someone can answer for me. Aside from the obvious answer – poverty – why did such similar earthquakes (Mexicali and Haiti) have such disasterously different results? In all honesty I can’t imagine the construction techniques in Mexicali can be that different from port Au Prince (unless Mexicali is a lot wealthier than I am assuming). While it’s true Port Au Prince as a high percentage of shacks and hovels, they also are the capital of the country which makes me think that no matter how poor the country is the buildings in its capital would have some degree of investment and therefore structural integrity, but everything was still wiped out. Doesn’t it make sense that due to, if nothing else, it’s importance in the country Port Au Prince would be at least as well built as Mexicali? How did Mexicali survive with barely a scratch compared to Port Au Prince?

  2. George McGinnis says

    From what I read, the experts were surprised as well at the lack of serious structural collapse in Mexicali but surmised that possibly most of the old construction that do not meet modern standards had already been knocked down in previous quakes. It was not only poverty that lead to the destruction it Port Au Prince; inadequate construction standards had a lot to do with it.

  3. Jim Green says

    Even rural construction in Mexico tends to be fairly solid: reinforced concrete(cinder block with steel rods). And the economic difference between Port-au-Prince and Mexicali is pretty extreme: northern Mexico has per capita incomes about ten times greater than Haiti.

  4. TommyOC says

    The dust coming off of hills in an Earthquake is a common occurrence in California and has been captured on camera before. That said, the above video is a rather good catch.

    @MT: To answer your questions:

    1) As a fault slips during an earthquake, the focal point of the energy – and indeed the energy’s direction of travel – changes. In this earthquake, the fault slipped in a northwestern direction, *away* from any populated area.

    2) Different geological compositions produce different shaking intensities. While I’m no geologist, I can tell you the ground composition of Mexicali is probably a lot different than Haiti.

    3) There’s an insinuation that Mexicans are poor, and thus live in crap housing. That simply isn’t the case. While Mexico would probably be an upper-tier second-world country (or lower-tier first), they’re by no means as destitute as Haiti, the poorest country in the hemisphere. Mexico is no stranger to devastating earthquakes (1986 Mexico City quake the perfect example). They’ve learned their lessons in building buildings that meet code.

  5. says

    The mountain range shown on the picture is not La Rumorosa but the Cucapah Mountain Range. It is located south of Mexicali City while La Rumorosa is located west of Mexicali.

    The picture was clearly shot from the San Felipe Highway which runs southward from Mexicali to the San Felipe port.

    My 2 cents.

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