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President Obama Declares Napa Earthquake Area Major Disaster

President Obama Declares Napa Earthquake Area Major Disaster

President Barack Obama has accepted Governor Jerry Brown’s request to declare a major disaster for Napa and Solano Counties following the crippling 6.0 magnitude earthquake that shook the region on Aug. 24, making emergency federal funds available to victims of the natural disaster. 

While the White House did not specify how much monetary assistance would be provided to the victims, a preliminary assessment by the governor’s office found that $87 million in earthquake costs could be eligible for federal reimbursement, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

That number varies starkly with official estimates out of Napa County, which placed the damages at more than $400 million, with over $83 million of that figure being sustained by wineries in the area. 

Only five percent of homeowners in Napa reportedly have earthquake insurance, according to the California Earthquake Authority, the Chronicle notes. When Breitbart News interviewed several business owners and homeowners who were affected by the quake, almost every person cited the expensive cost of earthquake insurance as the major deterring factor as to why they chose not to purchase it.

Residents are typically given priority in such situations, which also happened to be the case when Breitbart spoke to both residents and business owners at the shelters and disaster sites.

Under typical federal programs, homeowners without earthquake insurance could qualify for up to $30,000 in cash aid, and renters without earthquake insurance would be eligible for up to $40,000 to cover personal items, according to the Chronicle. Homeowners would also be eligible to receive up to $240,000 for repairs and fixing their property.

Business owners whose applications are accepted could receive low-interest loans to cover up to $2 million for the earthquake damage under the federal government’s programs.

On Friday, Napa suffered the first casualty resulting from the August 24 earthquake. Laurie Ann Thompson, 65, died of a massive brain injury after a television fell on her head during the quake. She had not sought immediate medical attention and when she did, doctors had diagnosed her with a massive subdural hematoma; a condition in which blood pours into the brain. She passed away a few days after undergoing an emergency surgery for the often deadly condition.

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