President Bush Friday declared a major disaster on the island of Hawaii, where Kilauea Volcano has destroyed 140 homes and caused an estimated $61 million damage, Gov. John Waihee announced.
The president's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals and local governments. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will coordinate the effort and designate specific areas eligible for aid."Assistance can include temporary housing, grants, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster," the White House said.
"Federal funding also is available to eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis for the repair or replacement of public facilities damaged by the lava," the announcement said.
Waihee hailed the president's action and said the state would link up immediately with federal and county officials to coordinate recovery operations on the "Big Island."