Gov. Gavin Newsom declares State of Emergency for Ridgecrest earthquake

Caltech Seismological Laboratory in Pasadena following the 6.4 Searles earthquake near Ridgecrest about 150 miles (241km) north of Los Angeles, July 4, 2019. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

California Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a State of Emergency for the 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck the area of Ridgecrest Thursday morning.

The governor's declaration was issued after the continued aftershocks that impacted the area throughout the day.

The earthquake damaged several structures and roadways. A State of Emergency declaration allows critical resources to be allocated to local agencies to assist with an emergency that may otherwise not be available.

Officials with the Kern County Fire Department, Ridgecrest Police Department, and Naval Air Weapon Stations China Lake continue assessing damages from the quake and subsequent aftershocks. An Urban Search and Rescue task force with the Office of Emergency Services will be assisting local agencies with K-9 dogs on search operations.

The full text of the emergency proclamation is below:

       WHEREAS on July 4, 2019, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake centered near
the City of Ridgecrest in Kern County caused significant damage; and

       WHEREAS multiple earthquake aftershocks continue to impact the region;

       WHEREAS the earthquake damaged roads and buildings, resulted in
multiple structural fires, and necessitated evacuations; and

       WHEREAS the earthquake damaged critical infrastructure, including
electrical service lines, water lines, and gas lines, impacting thousands of
customers; and

       WHEREAS under the provisions of Government Code section 8558(b), I
find that conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property exist in
Kern County due to the earthquake; and

       WHEREAS under the provisions of Government Code section 8558(b), I
find that the conditions caused by the earthquake, by reason of its magnitude,
are or are likely to be beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment,
and facilities of any single local government and require the combined forces of a
mutual aid region or regions to appropriately respond; and

       WHEREAS under the provisions of Government Code section 8625(c), I
find that local authority is inadequate to cope with the magnitude of the damage
caused by the earthquake; and

       WHEREAS under the provisions of Government Code section 8571, I find
that strict compliance with various statutes and regulations specified in this order
would prevent, hinder, or delay the mitigation of the effects of the earthquake.

       NOW, THEREFORE, I, GAVIN NEWSOM, Governor of the State of
California, in accordance with the authority vested in me by the State Constitution
and statutes, including the California Emergency Services Act, and in particular,
Government Code section 8625, HEREBY PROCLAIM A STATE OF
EMERGENCY to exist in Kern County.


1. All agencies of the state government utilize and employ state
personnel, equipment, and facilities for the performance of any and all
activities consistent with the direction of the Office of Emergency
Services and the State Emergency Plan. Also, all citizens are to heed
the advice of emergency officials with regard to this emergency in
order to protect their safety.

2. The Office of Emergency Services shall provide local government
assistance to Kern County, if appropriate, under the authority of the
California Disaster Assistance Act, Government Code section 8680 et
seq., and California Code of Regulations, Title 19, section 2900 et seq.

3. As necessary to assist local governments and for the protection of
public health and the environment, state agencies shall enter into
contracts to arrange for the procurement of materials, goods, and
services necessary to quickly assist with the response to and recovery
from the impacts of the earthquake. Applicable provisions of the
Government Code and the Public Contract Code, including but not
limited to travel, advertising, and competitive bidding requirements, are
suspended to the extent necessary to address the effects of the

4. The provisions of Unemployment Insurance Code section 1253
imposing a one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance
applicants are suspended as to all applicants who are unemployed as
a direct result of the earthquake who applied for unemployment
insurance benefits during the time period beginning July 4, 2019, and
ending on the close of business on January 5, 2020, and who are
otherwise eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.

5. Vehicle Code sections 9265(a), 9867, 14901, 14902, and 15255.2,
requiring the imposition of fees, are suspended with regard to any
request for replacement of a driver’s identification card, vehicle
registration certificate, or certificate of title, by any individual who lost
such records as a result of the earthquake. Such records shall be
replaced without charge.

6. The provisions of Vehicle Code sections 4602 and 5902, requiring the
timely registration or transfer of title are suspended with regard to any
registration or transfer of title by any resident of Kern County who is
unable to comply with those requirements as a result of the
earthquake. The time covered by this suspension shall not be included
in calculating any late penalty pursuant to Vehicle Code section 9554.

7. Health and Safety Code sections 103525.5 and 103625, and Penal
Code section 14251, requiring the imposition of fees are hereby
suspended with regard to any request for copies of certificates of birth,
death, marriage, and dissolution of marriage records, by any individual
who lost such records as a result of the earthquake. Such copies shall
be provided without charge.

8. The California Department of Transportation shall formally request
immediate assistance through the Federal Highway Administration’s
Emergency Relief Program, United States Code, Title 23, section 125,
in order to obtain federal assistance for highway repairs or

I FURTHER DIRECT that as soon as hereafter possible, this proclamation
be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and
notice be given of this proclamation.
hereunto set my hand and caused
the Great Seal of the State of
California to be affixed this 4th day
of July 2019.