President Trump’s Emergency Declaration came in response to a request from Gov. Gavin Newsom, who during a visit to Ridgecrest on Saturday said he’d talked to the president and was optimistic the request would be approved.
(TNS) — President Donald Trump on Monday declared an emergency exists in Southern California — a move that could free up federal resources where two powerful earthquakes Thursday and Friday damaged buildings and infrastructure and rattled residents in Kern and San Bernardino counties.
In the wake of a 6.4 magnitude temblor on Thursday and a 7.1 quake the following day, and aftershocks, Trump’s declaration says federal assistance will supplement state and local efforts. It authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate relief operations in the affected areas.
The agency will work to “lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the counties of Kern and San Bernardino,” a White House statement said.
“Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency,” the statement said.
State officials have said a federal disaster declaration could lead to low-interest loans for earthquake victims whose property was damaged.
Mark S. Ghilarducci, director of the state Office of Emergency Services, over the weekend said crews would make an inventory of damaged property, a process he said could take more than a week.
Staff writer Brian Rokos contributed to this story.
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