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article imageCalifornia requests federal aid to help pay for earthquake damage

By Nathan Salant     Sep 4, 2014 in Environment
Sacramento - California has formally requested federal assistance to help the nation's largest state recover from damage caused by last month's 6.0 South Napa earthquake.
Gov. Jerry Brown made the request Tuesday in a letter to US President Barack Obama asking for a presidential disaster declaration to free up millions of dollars in federal funds to help pay for recovery efforts.
"I request that you declare a major disaster for the State of California as a result of the South Napa Earthquake that affected Napa, Solano, and Sonoma Counties," Brown's letter states.
"Economic impacts of this event will be extensive," the letter says, adding, "The earthquake caused significant damage throughout the region."
The 6.0 earthquake, which struck without warning at 3:20 a.m. on Aug. 24, injured more than 200 people — three seriously — and caused major damage to buildings and infrastructure in three San Francisco Bay Area counties.
The damage has so far been estimated in the tens of millions of dollars but is expected to go much higher as aftershocks continue and more information becomes evident.
Historic buildings in downtown Napa and Vallejo, some dating back to California's early years as a state, were seriously damaged in what has been called the South Napa quake.
Nobody was killed.
Brown declared a state of emergency in California shortly after the quake to bring more local relief funding to the region, but said the state has already been forced to spend nearly $700 million in emergency funds this year to fight fires and provide relief from a three-year-old drought.
"This incident is of such severity and magnitude that an effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and affected local governments, and supplemental federal assistance is necessary," Brown's letter states.
The quake was the largest in the Bay Area since the 1989 Loma Prieta temblor that killed more than 60 people, caused billions of dollars in damage and interrupted the World Series.
More about California, Earthquake, South Napa, Napa, Damage
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