Strong Quake Shakes as Gov. Tours Damage

By R. Stickney
|  Thursday, Apr 8, 2010  |  Updated 8:30 PM PDT
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Strong Quake Shakes as Gov. Tours Damage

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is getting a look at damage from Sunday's 7.2 earthquake in Calexico.
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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is getting a look at damage from Sunday’s 7.2 earthquake in Calexico.

In the four days since, hundreds of quakes have rattled the southern portion of the state including at least seventeen measured at 4.5 or above. A strong one was felt in downtown San Diego at 9:44 a.m. PT Thursday measuring a 5.5 and centered 9 miles WSW of Guadalupe Victoria, Mexico.

On Monday, the Governor proclaimed a state of emergency in Imperial County due to the earthquake which impacted Southern California, disrupted telephone communications, buckled roads, broke water mains and damaged critical water storage facilities.

The closest city to the epicenter on the U.S. side of the border is Calexico. Among the priorities for the small community, getting housing for those who had to be evacuated from their homes or apartments and getting classes back on track in order for students to finish out the school year.

“We will work together to rebuild the businesses and the homes and the office buildings,” the governor said while standing with local leaders.

Recovering from a quake is not an unfamiliar experience for residents of Calexico and the state has teams that are more than prepared to help in the event of a natural disaster, Schwarzenegger said.

“We luckily have the experience because of the amount of fires that we have and the amount of mudslides that we have and other disasters in this state,” he said. ”The key thing is that we coordinate.”

On Thursday, Schwarzenegger again stressed the importance of requesting federal aid. His teams will begin evaluating the damage and draft a request to send to President Barack Obama in order to get federal funds flowing in to the area.

Truckloads of cots, blankets, pillows, personal hygiene kits and generators were provided to Mexican officials after requesting assistance to help those still displaced from their damaged homes, according to a news release from the governor's office.

Most of the supplies sent to Mexico came from a larger cache at the agency's Southern Region Emergency Operations Center in Los Alamitos and some items from a warehouse in Fresno. Approximately 2,975 standard cots, 600 heavy duty cots, 6,940 blankets, 3,384 pillows, 4,472 personal hygiene kits and 44 portable generators were transported by the California Department of Transportation and the California Conservation Corps to the Imperial County Fairgrounds on Wednesday evening

Did he feel the temblor? “I was in Hawaii, very far away,” Schwarzenegger said which prompted some laughter from reporters. But, he said he returned home Monday morning so that he could be involved in relief efforts.

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