Imperial County Announces Preliminary Estimates from Sunday’s Earthquake
IMPERIAL COUNTY – Imperial County Officials have been working closely with local and state officials in response to the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that shook Imperial Valley on Sunday afternoon.
“Our thoughts are with the families and individuals that have been affected by the earthquake,” stated Louis Fuentes, Chairman for the Imperial County Board of Supervisors. “As we are assessing the damage we are finding that we were fortunate that the earthquake that hit Imperial County occurred on a day that children were not in school and many individuals were not at work.”
Following the proclamation of a local emergency by Imperial County and a State of Emergency by California Governor Schwarzenegger, local agencies are working with representatives of the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) to determine what type of assistance may be available to affected residents and government agencies. “Responders and staff have been concentrating efforts in those areas of the County that were most heavily impacted”, stated Tony Rouhotas, Director of the Imperial County Office of Emergency Services.
To date damage estimates for the cities and unincorporated areas of Imperial County exceeds $70 million. These are preliminary estimates and are expected to increase as assessments continue.
Preliminary reports and assessments indicate the following in damages: A number of mobile homes have been affected in the El Centro, Calexico and Seeley areas. Several buildings in Calexico have been red tagged due to structural damage. Structures that are red-tagged are considered extremely hazardous and may collapse.
Thursday April 8, 2010
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IMPERIAL COUNTY EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER
The City of El Centro is assessing damages to local businesses. There have been interruptions to local businesses due to closures. Downtown Calexico businesses located in the areas of First to Third Streets, from Paulin Ave to Heber Ave continue to be closed and will be reopened as soon as safely possible. Imperial Valley and Calexico Transit Systems have been rerouted to Fourth and Paulin Ave. The County as a whole is seeing damages to water and waste water treatment plants in El Centro, Holtville, Imperial, Calexico and those under County jurisdiction. Calexico residents continue to be encouraged to conserve water. Residents are being asked to not wash their cars, use their sprinklers, fill their pools or otherwise use water unnecessarily. Nine County buildings and facilities have been affected. Damages range from moderate to major.
Inspectors with the Division of State Architects arrived in Imperial County on Monday of this week and have been working with local schools to assess for damages.
Calexico Elementary School District officials announced that all K-12 public schools in Calexico will not be in session the week of April 12th to allow for the relocation of students and staff due to the closure of Jefferson Elementary School. Our Lady of Guadalupe and Vincent Memorial Schools in Calexico will be closed April 12 and 13th, and anticipate reopening on April 14th. St. Mary’s School in El Centro will also be closed on April 12th and 13th, and anticipate reopening on April 14th. All other schools in Imperial County will open on Monday as previously scheduled.
The Office of Emergency Services are working with local agencies to establish public assistance centers where individuals can go if they need federal, state or local assistance. Families and individuals affected by the earthquake will be able to get additional information and access resources. The location and the hours for the assistance center will be released as soon as it becomes available.
Shelter Services are being provided by American Red Cross for residents whose housing is unsafe or who do not feel comfortable staying in their own home. Services available include food, shelter and showers. Imperial County Animal Control will provide shelter services for the animals of residents housed in the American Red Cross Shelter. The shelter is located at Ryerson Hall/Desert Trails RV Park, 225 Wake Ave, El Centro, CA. For more information please call (760) 482-4968.
The Imperial County Imperial County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has established the Imperial County Assistance Hotline to provide assistance to local residents. Residents are encouraged to contact the hotline with questions or concerns following the recent earthquake activity in Imperial County. The hotline can be reached by dialing 760-482-4968. Residents should continue to call 911 for emergencies. Hotline staff is available 24 hours to answer non-emergency questions.