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Mexicali quake caused $91 million in damage in California alone, state says

April 20, 2010 |  7:43 am

Merchandise are strewned throughout a Calexico, California shoes store following a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that rocked the area. Credit:Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

The 7.2 Mexicali earthquake caused at least $91 million in damage on the California side of the border, according to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

According to a letter the state sent to the federal government seeking aid, the quake damage in Imperial County includes:

-- Structural damage to numerous buildings including homes, schools and a hospital

-- Major cracks to the All-American Canal, which provides water for local agriculture

-- Damage to wastewater and water storage tanks

The April 4 earthquake killed two people in Mexicali and caused significant damage in that city. But Calexico in Imperial County was also hard hit.

A broken sewer line is dumping sewage into the already smelly New River, which flows from Mexico into the Salton Sea.

An elementary school has been declared unsafe for staff and children. The historic De Anza Hotel, which had been converted in recent years to provide housing for low-income senior citizens, was also damaged.

California Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein have sent a letter to President Obama asking him to declare Imperial County a federal disaster area, a designation that would make the quake-ravaged county eligible for aid.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: Merchandise is scattered throughout a Calexico shoe store after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake rocked the area earlier this month. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times