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.
It could be days before water service is restored to 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.
Thank you @realDonaldTrump for approving a federal emergency declaration in response to California’s recent earthquakes.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) July 9, 2019