President Barack Obama announced federal funding to help Northern California recover from a major earthquake that struck the region's wine country last month, The Associated Press reported. Obama also declared the 6.0 magnitude earthquake, which occurred on Aug. 24, a major disaster.
The White House announcement comes nine days after Gov. Jerry Brown, who declared a state of emergency shortly after the earthquake, sent a letter requesting the declaration that would allow the flow of federal funds to aid the region's recovery. According to AP, a preliminary assessment by the governor’s office found that about $87 million in earthquake-related costs could be made eligible for federal reimbursement, though the White House did not specify the amount of federal funds that were granted.
Napa County officials reportedly estimated that local wineries sustained damages worth more than $83 million while the total damage to the region was expected to be over $400 million.
The earthquake, which was the strongest to hit the San Francisco Bay area since a 6.9 magnitude quake in 1989, claimed its first death on Wednesday. Laurie Anne Thompson, a 65-year-old woman who suffered a head injury during the quake, died at a hospital more than two weeks later, due to a bleeding in her skull, officials reportedly said.
"Her condition continued to deteriorate over time and, unfortunately, she passed away," Sheriff's Capt. Doug Pike said, according to Star Herald.
According to AP, some tribal and local governments, and non-profit groups, will have access to the federal funds.