Governor Gavin Newsom Requests Presidential Emergency Declaration for Earthquake Damage

Governor Gavin Newsom Requests Presidential Emergency Declaration for Earthquake Damage

Governor Gavin Newsom requested a Presidential Emergency Declaration for Direct Federal Assistance to support the communities impacted by the significant earthquakes on July 4th and 5th. 

First responders are continuing to assess the extent of the damage near Ridgecrest. The assistance requested of the President and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with mass care supplies, emergency power supplies, generators, evacuation support, and engineering support, as needed. The assistance is requested for Kern and San Bernardino Counties, since areas in San Bernardino County, including Trona have sustained substantial damage.

Governor Gavin Newsom said in the letter to President Donald Trump on Friday, July 5, 2019, that the 6.4 earthquake on July 4th caused damage to critical infrastructure. Roadways, gas lines, and water lines were all impacted, with some of the gas line breaks leading to fires. With hundreds of aftershocks between July 4th and the larger July 5th earthquakes, the damage worsened. 

On Friday, July 5, 2019, a 7.1 earthquake struck the Ridgecrest area. This earthquake, according to the California Geological Survey, released around ten times more energy than the 6.4 earthquake. This earthquake caused widespread damages in both the Kern and San Bernardino Counties. Ridgecrest Hospital was partially closed with the emergency room remaining open after the July 4th earthquake. On July 5th, following the much stronger 7.1 earthquake closed the emergency room. Patients are now being triaged in the parking lot and transported to other area hospitals. 

Governor Newsom said that under the California State Emergency Plan, 200 National Guard members have responded to the area to support impacted communities.

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Image Sources:

  • Road damage Trona: Caltrans District 8