Though not on the front page of the news anymore, aftershocks subsequent to the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that occurred on April 4 in the Imperial Valley continue. A 4.9 quake shook as recently as May 22 and was felt in parts of San Diego County.
Also not reported much in the news is the continuing economic impact to the valley. Maritza, who manages the Benavidez Traffic School in Imperial, said attendance in her classes is way down since the April quake. “A lot of people are still scared and freaked out,” she said.
Most press reports at the time focused on damages in the border town of Calexico and in the neighboring Baja town of Mexicali. Yet, damage was extensive in the larger towns to the north, in El Centro and Brawley.
Over at the Church of Religious Science near downtown El Centro, church administrator Randy Connor says no one is out spending money because they are using it to fix damages. “Two of our neighboring churches were red-flagged, one lost their steeple, and the other will need to be demolished.”
Connor’s church building suffered a new interior crack after the May 22 aftershock. “We don’t have anything breakable anymore,” said Connor.
Home improvement and construction sales are up, however, according to the Imperial Valley Chamber of Commerce.