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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 2:16 a.m., Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Earthquake assistance hits $25 million

Advertiser Staff

Financial assistance for Hawai'i residents affected by the Kiholo earthquakes has reached $25 million, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said.

The 6.7 and 6.0 earthquakes rocked Hawai'i on Oct. 15. FEMA said more than 2,000 families and individuals have been approved for low-interest loans and grants in the past two months.

Financial aid is still available, but Friday at 6 p.m. marks the deadline for Big Island residents to register for assistance by calling toll-free 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800 462 7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. (local time) or by going online to www.fema.gov at any time.

Those who have already registered but have sustained additional damage from aftershocks can call the FEMA helpline, 1-800-621-3362. Have your registration number handy.

The breakdown of the kinds of assistance provided through Dec. 19:

  • $8,584,209 approved through the FEMA Housing Program. Housing assistance provides grants to renters to find alternate housing. Homeowners may receive grants to make their home livable or, if that cannot be done, grants are given to rent alternate housing. The program is funded 100 percent by FEMA.

  • $43,310 in grants approved for 121 applicants under the FEMA/State Other Needs Assistance Program (ONA). These grants cover personal property, transportation, medical and dental expenses, and those who have serious and essential unmet needs.

  • $16,306,400 in low-interest disaster loans approved for 459 home owners, renters and business owners by the U.S. Small Business Administration for disaster-damaged personal property, real estate or economic injury.

  • 3,536 homes inspected for earthquake damage by FEMA.

  • $5,000 in U.S. Department of Agriculture emergency loans. Producers have until July 9, 2007 to apply for Farm Services Administration emergency loan money under the Kiholo Bay Earthquake disaster declaration.