13:51 GMT +322 October 2019
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    Linemen repair lines that were broken during a powerful earthquake that struck Southern California, near the epicenter, northeast the city of Ridgecrest, California, U.S., July 4, 2019. REUTERS/David McNew

    California Governor Calls Earthquakes ‘Wake-Up Call’ For US Alert System, Tougher Building Codes

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    The two large earthquakes that hit California earlier this week left no deaths or major injuries, but inflicted significant damage on the region’s infrastructure, prompting the mobilization of emergency relief agencies and the National Guard.

    California Governor Gavin Newsom called on US state and federal officials to upgrade alert systems and tighten building codes in response to two earthquakes that rattled the state this week.

    “It is a wake-up call for the rest of the state and other parts of the nation, frankly,” he said Saturday, according to the Associated Press.

    After touring the state, the governor called the damage from the earthquakes “deceiving,” adding that “you don’t notice it at first.”

    He estimated actual damages at more than $100 million and noted that US President Donald Trump had called him offer federal support.

    "There’s no question we don’t agree on everything,” the Democratic governor said of Trump. “But one area where there’s no politics, where we work extremely well together, is our response to emergencies.”

    He added that Trump is “committed in the long haul, the long run, to help support the rebuilding efforts.”

    The state was hit by two earthquakes last week: a 6.4 magnitude quake on Thursday, followed by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake Friday night. The Friday quake is said to be the largest to hit southern California in at least 20 years. 

    As the epicenters were in remote areas, no fatalities or major injuries were reported, AP says. However, property damage includes burning buildings, broken road pavement, railroad track obstructions and leaking water and gas lines.

    With seismologists warning of possible aftershocks and air temperatures expected to reach 38 Celsius over the next several days, officials are taking precautions, with state National Guard sending 200 troops, logistical support and aircraft. 

    The California Office of Emergency Services reportedly set up cots, water and food, as well as constructing temporary cooling centers around the region. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reportedly delivered a tractor-trailer full of bottled water to San Bernardino County due to water line damage. Governor Newsom has declared a state of emergency for the county, AP says.

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    Tags:
    earthquake, Gavin Newsom, California
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