Earthquake victims in California and Haiti build together in the aftermath

IMPERIAL VALLEY, Calif.–A plate heaped with rice, sloppy beans, and chunks of questionable meat was lovingly set before Shelby Drye one evening in March 2010 in Barbancourt, Haiti. His poverty-stricken, disaster-weary dinner hosts shared just one paltry plate of the same food among themselves. It’s a meal Drye will never forget. “They wanted to make sure we ate before they did,” he said, remembering that he did not want to eat what was offered to him that evening two months after the 7.0-magnitude earthquake ripped through the Caribbean nation on January 12, 2010. But, because of the sincere depth of their gift, he ate anyway.

Imperial Valley residents feel the financial pinch a year after the Easter earthquake

IMPERIAL VALLEY, Calif.–Recovery from the Easter Sunday 7.2-magnitude earthquake that rocked California’s Imperial Valley on April 4, 2010, has been slow for many whose homes or business buildings suffered damage in the historic temblor. In the county seat of El Centro alone losses are estimated at $8 million to buildings and property, according to Ruben Duran, city manager for the City of El Centro. “Everything that we are doing, we are doing on our own dime,” said Duran, who explained during a March 22 news conference that a big part of the county’s recovery is the actual financing of repairs. The Federal Emergency Management Agency committed $178,000, but that might not materialize for decades, Duran noted. FEMA’s contribution is assigned by Congress, but subsequently declared disasters can bump funding for the previous ones.