California sends 50 emergency crew members to help Puerto Rico with earthquake recovery

California Connection
Data pix.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- Puerto Rico was rocked by a 5.9 magnitude earthquake Saturday morning, the second quake to hit the island within a week.

California Governor's Office of Emergency Services Director Mark Ghilarducci said his agency will answer the call.

"Puerto Rico reached out to California on a State to State request and asked if we can send a lot of our disaster specialists from California that are experienced in managing complex, big disaster events," said Ghilarducci.

Inside the state operations center, dozens of Cal OES workers were briefed on the disaster Friday.

Cal OES is sending a team of as many as 50 people, including some California Department of Transportation workers to Puerto Rico Sunday morning.

"Helping them build a recovery plan that is long term," said Ghilarducci.

Crews will help the U.S. territory navigate the logistics of recovery, including responding to aftershocks, determining which structures are safe, earthquake-specific cleanup and dealing with people who are afraid to return to their homes.

"Some of it's humanitarian. Some of it's technical assistance but we're going to be there helping them for the next few weeks to get themselves back up on their feet," said Ghilarducci.

Cal OES and Caltrans crews are scheduled to fly out of Sacramento International Airport Sunday morning at 6 a.m. and are expected to be gone for 16-20 days.


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