May 8, 2010 (Washington, D.C.)-- On May 6, President Obama issued a major disaster declaration for California, making federal funds available to help communities rebuild after the April 4, 2010 earthquake.
Congressman Bob Filner (D-San Diego), whose district includes all of quake-damaged Imperial County, praised the President's decision. “When I met with local officials and community leaders a few days after the initial earthquake, I promised I’d go to the top to get help so that people could begin to put their lives back together," said Filner. "That’s why I urged the President to issue the disaster declaration.…Now we can begin to rebuild and recover from the earthquake.”
Governor Arnold Scharzenegger had also asked the President to issue a disaster proclamation.
The region, which has been rocked by numerous strong aftershocks, has sustained at least $91 million in damages since the Easter Sunday earthquake, the Imperial Valley Press reports. Imperial County and cities within the county are now eligible to apply for Federal Emergency Management Act (FEMA) funds to help rebuild roads, schools, bridges, a damaged water system, and more.
Statewide organizations may also apply for help to fund steps to prevent damage in future earthquakes to the region, the most seismically active area in California.