The Latest: President declares emergency over Cal quakes
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on earthquakes in Southern California (all times local):
President Donald Trump has declared an emergency for California after two major earthquakes and thousands of aftershocks.
Monday’s declaration paves the way for federal aid to help those hard-hit by the quakes.
The declaration authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts in Kern and San Bernardino counties.
A magnitude 6.4 quake on Thursday and a 7.1 quake on Friday damaged many homes and roads in the Mojave Desert towns of Ridgecrest and Trona.
An official says she expects “dozens” of properties will be found damaged by recent earthquakes once the Southern California town of Ridgecrest completes its review.
Kern County spokeswoman Megan Person says Monday that inspectors will need several more days to assess all the damage in the desert community.
Person says 100 people were staying at Ridgecrest’s main shelter as of Sunday afternoon. She says an additional 43 evacuees were camping on the lawn outside, afraid to go indoors.
She says officials are bringing in counselors to help residents still on edge as aftershocks rattle the area.
A magnitude 6.4 earthquake Thursday and a magnitude 7.1 quake Friday were centered 11 miles (18 kilometers) from Ridgecrest. The town is in the Mojave Desert about 150 miles (241 kilometers) from Los Angeles.
It could be days before water service is restored to the Southern California desert town of Trona, where officials are still assessing damage from last week’s powerful earthquakes.
San Bernardino County spokesman David Wert says Monday that 10 residences have been red-tagged as uninhabitable, but he expects that number to rise. He says he has seen homes that shifted 6 feet (nearly 2 meters) off their foundations during the magnitude 6.4 earthquake Thursday and a magnitude 7.1 quake Friday.
Wert says the county is providing bottled water and trucking in portable toilets and showers. Electricity was restored over the weekend, allowing people to use much-needed air conditioners as daytime temperatures approached 100 degrees (38 Celsius).
Wert says the quakes have rattled residents’ nerves but also pulled the community together.
Shaken residents are cleaning up from two of the biggest earthquakes to rattle California in decades as scientists warn that both should serve as a wake-up call to be ready when the long-dreaded “Big One” strikes.
California is spending more than $16 million to install thousands of quake-detecting sensors statewide that officials say will give utilities and trains precious seconds to shut down before the shaking starts.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said it’s time residents did their part by mapping out emergency escape routes and preparing earthquake kits with food, water, lights and other necessities.
A magnitude 6.4 earthquake Thursday and a magnitude 7.1 quake Friday were centered 11 miles (18 kilometers) from the small desert town of Ridgecrest, about 150 miles (241 kilometers) from Los Angeles.