Governor Tours Humboldt County Earthquake Damage

Disasters and AccidentsPoliticsRegional AuthorityGovernment

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday estimated damage at more than $40 million as he toured an area of this Northern California city affected by last weekend's magnitude 6.5-earthquake.

"We will do everything we can in order for you to rebuild your homes, your businesses, your buildings and also your lives as quickly as possible," Schwarzenegger, flanked by state and local officials, told a news conference in Eureka, the largest city affected by Saturday's quake.

Schwarzenegger's comments followed a tour of a historic district in the city that has seen at least one structure - a vacant building dating from the early 1900s - badly damaged with parts of the roof and east wall collapsing.

The city council voted Monday to allow the building to be demolished.

At least two other structures in the city have been deemed uninhabitable.

County officials say nine county buildings in and around Eureka, including the jail and library, have suffered damage varying from cracks to a broken water pipe. Part of a county road leading from Petrolia to Ferndale was blocked when a hillside gave way, said Phil Smith-Hanes, a spokesman for the county.

Overall, Schwarzenegger said quake damage is estimated at $43 million. State officials say as of now, $18.3 million will be covered by the state although that figure could change as officials - assisted for the first time Thursday by the Federal Emergency Management Agency - continue to assess the damage.

The governor declared a state of emergency for the county Tuesday, paving the way for state assistance.

The quake, centered offshore in the Pacific Ocean, sent about 30 people to emergency rooms, but only one was seriously injured - an elderly person who fell and suffered a broken hip.

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