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More Fallout From the Northridge Earthquake

* The Aftershock Watch you have added to the Valley section has been most helpful because it verifies that I didn’t imagine the extent of the motion of the earth.

Though the aftershocks are not large in magnitude, pieces of loosened plaster fall, cracks widen and adrenaline flows.

Thank you for proving I’m not losing my mind as well as possessions.

JANE AIRES

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Granada Hills

* I have been reading articles on the so-called “help” that mortgage companies are extending. I know it is not nice to bite the hand that is feeding you, but who is feeding whom?

Our mortgage company has been so nice as to give us a three-month forbearance. Then, in the fourth month, they want double payments! It is obvious that they haven’t a clue to what is going on here. Our out-of-state mortgage company supposedly hasn’t sent a representative to California to even get a clue.

Will it break mortgage companies to make 30-years-and-three-month mortgages? Would they not make a couple extra bucks in interest? Are only the out-of-state mortgage companies the ones with these grand ideas to help earthquake victims? Should we clue them in that it only took 15 seconds to wreak havoc on more than half a million people and that will take years before we fully recover?

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We know where to go for disaster relief for food, clothing and shelter, but what about the havoc our mortgage companies are adding?

BRIDGET KITTELL

Chatsworth

* I’m very happy that the Federal Emergency Management Agency hired an additional 700 inspectors. This was done to accommodate the more than 300,000 calls for assistance in the wake of the Northridge earthquake.

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They were flown in from all over the country for a 10-hour seminar in San Mateo on Feb. 5 and given $5,000 worth of computer equipment.

However, the computer communications for receiving caseloads were entirely inadequate for transmitting the information needed to support the inspector. In fact, some of these instruments did not even have the software needed to receive the caseloads.

While I appreciate the fact that the government has acted as quickly as it has, it would appear to me that after the many disasters that have besieged the country, the bugs should have been worked out of the system.

As I understand it, the programs on the computers work fine for floods and hurricanes but not earthquakes.

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In a disaster situation, it would be better to service the people first and worry about the computer program later. Paper forms may take longer, up to 33% according to the article, but they still work--and more efficiently than a computer that doesn’t work at all.

STEVE RUTTER

North Hollywood

Reseda having trouble with the epicenter and Northridge? How about renaming them both Twin Quakes, Calif.?

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BETTIE JEAN MERIDITH

Encino


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