MEXICALI, Mexico – Normal routines gradually returned Monday to the border city of Mexicali, Mexico, hit hard Easter Sunday by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake felt as far away as Los Angeles and Phoenix, Mexican authorities said.

“Little by little, things are coming back to normal,” said Alejandro Contreras, a spokesman for the state government in Mexicali, a sprawling municipality of almost 1 million situated about 125 miles east of San Diego. “People are nervous, of course, but we are calling for calm and working to restore services.”

The quake left two people dead and about 230 injured, none seriously, said Jorge Sanchez Rendon, another government spokesman. Most of the injured had scratches and bruises, he said.

The northbound border into Calexico, Calif., from Mexicali remained closed to automobile traffic Monday morning because of concerns about damage to the U.S. federal building, but people were allowed to walk through checkpoints into the United States as aftershocks rattled the region. Authorities reported 45 collapsed or partially collapsed buildings in Baja California.

Power and water supply was being restored, authorities said, although much of the city seemed without power early Monday and many traffic lights were not functioning. Authorities said the damaged water supply system was improving, but that pressure was low.

Much of the visible damage downtown was from broken glass. People walked on the streets and cars circulated cautiously. Officials said electric power had been restored by mid-morning to 75 percent of users in Mexicali. Half a dozen electrical substations were being evaluated for damage, authorities said.

Thousands of people slept outside Sunday night as aftershocks shook the city, keeping nerves frayed. Authorities were setting up temporary shelters, especially in rural areas where the quake ruptured irrigation canals and led to extensive flooding.

Authorities stressed that reservoirs were amply supplied and there was no danger that Mexicali or the coastal city of Tijuana would run out of water.


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