Petco Park deemed safe after earthquake

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Fans at the San Diego Padres-Toronto Blue Jays baseball game Monday night were entertained with more than just a game as a 5.7 magnitude earthquake rocked Southern California.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck about 9:30 p.m. and was centered five miles southeast of Ocotillo in Imperial County, about 85 miles east of San Diego. There were no reports of significant damage in Imperial and San Diego counties.

During video coverage of the Padres game however, cameras shook and both foul poles swayed back-and-forth. Fans reportedly cheered when the public address announcer told the crowd to remain calm.

As standard operating procedure for Petco Park, engineers inspected the stadium from top-to-bottom.

"We dispatched our engineering team to conduct a visual inspection of the ballpark," said Mark Guglielmo, vice president of ballpark operations.

According to Guglielmo, Petco Park suffered no damage from the earthquake Monday or from the Easter 7.2 magnitude earthquake. He said that Petco Park is one of the safest places to be during an earthquake.

"It's structurally designed to prevent a catastrophic failure that meets the uniform building code," he said.

Pat Abbott, a geologist, said despite the amount of aftershocks the frequency of them was normal.

"It feels like non-stop earthquakes. But if you scale them down, they're only on the order of one-percent of the Easter earthquake," he said.

According to Abbott, the reason why some residents may be feeling more earthquakes was because there are several fault lines that haven't been active for several years until recently. He said that energy was most likely being released.

"You have the Elsinore fault, from Julian, up past Lake Elsinore that's lagging behind," he said. "There's also one to the east, the San Jacinto fault, which is ready to go in about a magnitude seven."

"I would say that we will expect to see some events possibly as nearly as we saw last night over the next few weeks, but that will gradually diminish in time," said Peter Davis of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

According to Abbott, statistics show that there is a 59 percent chance of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake or greater will hit the area in the next 30 years and it will most likely come from the San Andreas Fault.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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