Trump Approves Disaster Declaration For Hawaii Over Volcano Eruption – Reports

Trump Approves Disaster Declaration For Hawaii Over Volcano Eruption – Reports
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AP Photo / Scott Wiggers/Apau Hawaii Tours US06:58 12.05.2018(updated 07:13 12.05.2018) Get short URL
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – On Friday, four members of the US Congress representing the state said in a letter to the US President that Donald Trump must immediately approve a disaster declaration for areas impacted by the ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island.

“Based on the severity of the damage and preliminary assessments, it is clear that recovery will overwhelm state and county resources,” the letter said on Friday. “[Hawaii] Governor [David] Ige has requested that you issue a presidential disaster declaration to allow state and county officials to apply for vital federal assistance available. We urge your expeditious approval of his request.”

The letter was signed by Senators Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono, as well as Representatives Colleen Hanabusa and Tulsi Gabbard.

According to the US-based media reports, Trump administration has granted on Friday afternoon Governor David Ige’s request to heip the County cope with severe damages caused by the ongoing eruption of KIlauea volcano.

“Today, President Donald J. Trump declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Hawaii and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area affected by the Kilauea volcanic eruption and earthquakes beginning on May 3, 2018, and continuing,” White House said.

The White House added that more designations could be made at a later date “if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.”

The approval of the disaster declaration would provide the area affected by the eruption with access to important federal funding, the lawmakers stressed, the Hawaii News Now media outlet reported earlier on Friday.

On Wednesday, Ige signed a disaster declaration following the volcano’s latest eruption, which started on May 3. The governor’s office said the estimated cost to protect residents over the next 30 days will likely exceed $2.9 million.

Since the beginning of the eruption, 15 fissures have emerged. Hawaii County Civil Defense said that lava from those openings have so far destroyed 36 structures, including more than two dozen homes, and covered 117 acres of land.

Source.