Gov. Gavin Newsom says President Donald Trump has expressed commitment to helping California recover from two earthquakes that hit the state.
“I have all the confidence in the world that the president will be forthcoming in immediate terms with the federal declaration,” Newsom said.
Speaking to reporters after touring the damage zone in Ridgecrest, Newsom said Saturday that he and Trump talked about the struggles California has been through, including two devastating wildfires that happened just six months ago.
The Democratic governor said "there's no question we don't agree on everything, but one area where there's no politics, where we work extremely well together, is our response to emergencies."
The magnitude 7.1 quake centered about 11 miles north of Ridgecrest, rattling the Kern County city and the nearby small town of Trona in San Bernardino County. The area appears to have taken the brunt of the damage, which includes major cracking on the State Route 178, 50 damaged structures and a fissure that stretched across the Mojave Desert.
The governor described visiting a mobile home park in Ridgecrest that sustained "some of the most significant damage," and seeing a strong sense of community amongst the residents, who are now nervous after the two earthquakes.
“We saw what many people don’t see and that’s what resides inside,” he said. “You see a couple bricks down, but you don’t see what’s behind those doorways.”
Newsom explained that in contrast to wildfires, most people don’t have earthquake insurance, and costs of rebuilding after the two quakes can be "astronomical."
Earthquake damage can be deceiving and may not be apparent at first, Newsom said. Officials will be conducting a thorough assessment of the damage so that every property owner whose home sustained damage, can be found eligible for reimbursements.
“There’s no doubt in my mind, after talking to the president, that he’s committed in the long run, in the long haul, to help support the rebuilding efforts that we are,” the governor said.
Newsom thanked first responders and city leaders, assuring the crowd that the state is committed to the region and to rebuilding it.
“The flag of San Francisco is a phoenix rising, that came out of the ashes of the 1906 earthquake. And the phoenix rising is symbolic because San Francisco rose from those ashes and became a stronger more resilient city," Newsom said. "I think that resiliency, that same level of commitment, is demonstrable when you walk around this community.”