US Installing Quake Sensors in Northern Mexico
Machine will spot quakes heading north of the border
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2011 4:00 AM CDT
Locals look at a damaged road near Mexicali following the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit the US-Mexico border region in April last year.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Next time the ground shakes in Mexico, the Department of Defense and the US Geological Survey want to know about it. The agencies are spending $500,000 to install earthquake monitoring machines in Mexican border regions, the Los Angeles Times reports. Officials say they don't want a repeat of the confusion after last year's Mexicali earthquake, when hours went by before they knew where the quake's epicenter was and where aftershocks were headed.

"We basically have a big blind spot to the south—unless we can get data from the Mexican network. So that allows us to expand our ability to see what's going on," the coordinator for the Southern California Seismic Network says. "Without instrumentation, how do you know what's gone on? All you know is, gosh, something bad happened in Mexicali." The Mexican government is spending $50 million on a separate upgrade of its own system.