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California Seeking Quake Disaster Assistance from Feds

A local resident inspects a crack in the earth after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the area on July 4, 2019 near Ridgecrest, California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

SACRAMENTO (AP) — California is asking the U.S. Small Business Administration to declare a disaster for two counties struck by large earthquakes last month.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday he’s asking the agency to declare Kern and San Bernardino counties a disaster area, which would make low-interest loans available to people whose homes and businesses suffered damage.

A magnitude-7.1 quake centered near Ridgecrest rocked the Mojave Desert region east of Los Angeles on July 5. It was preceded by a 6.4-temblor and followed by thousands of aftershocks.

Authorities have said the quakes — the largest to hit the region in decades — caused about $100 million damage to Ridgecrest and nearby Trona.

The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services says a survey found that more than 100 homes or businesses had large uninsured losses.

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