President Joe Biden offers relief through every possible federal aid to the U.S. Island State to combat the ongoing wildfires crisis.
Here are the details of the news.
Biden Orders Release Of Federal Aid For Hawaii
Declaring the Hawaii wildfires a ‘major disaster,’ United States President Joe Biden announced the release of federal aid on Thursday to support the state and recovery of the areas affected by the wildfires as the devastating disaster has engulfed more lives and properties since its emergence.
A White House statement reads, “Today, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Hawaii and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by wildfires beginning on August 8, 2023, and continuing.”
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Biden’s federal grants came two days after wildfires rapidly destroyed major parts of Maui County, including the former capital and historic city of Lahaina in the Island State.
According to the White House report, federal assistance includes grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other support programs to help people recover from the effects of the wildfires.
During his remarks in Utah on Thursday, President Biden said he spoke with Hawaii Governor Josh Green and promised to provide every federal help the state needs to recover from the fires.
Biden said, “We are working as quickly as possible to fight those fires and evacuate residents and tourists. In the meantime, our prayers are with the people of Hawaii, but not just our prayers; every asset we have will be available to them.”
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“Anyone who’s lost a loved one or whose home has been damaged or destroyed is going to get help immediately,” added the President, assuring the federal aid “will get into the hands of people who desperately need help.”
Biden also said that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell would travel to Maui on Friday, and he has “directed her to streamline any process, request for help, and survivors registered for needing federal assistance without delay.”
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In addition to FEMA, the President has deployed the National Guard, Navy, and Army for emergency assistance in Hawaii.
The White House statement said, “President Biden confirmed he signed a Major Disaster Declaration for Hawaii that will deliver additional federal resources and support on top of the actions already underway by FEMA, the National Guard, the U.S. Coast Guard, and other federal agencies to support the emergency response.”
The west coast of Hawaii’s Maui island began experiencing a blaze on Tuesday brought out by high winds from a nearby hurricane that rapidly spread through the seaside town of Lahaina.
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As state emergency management officials reported, the massive fire burned around 2000 acres, and there were still six active fires on Maui and the island of Hawaii as of Thursday morning.
The death toll from the deadliest wildfires rose to 93 on Saturday as search teams continued to determine how the disaster spread so quickly through the historic town without warning.
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In a similar crisis that occurred a year after Hawaii became the 50th U.S. State, Governor Josh Green said, “In 1960, we had 61 fatalities when a large wave came through Big Island. This time, it’s very likely that our death totals will significantly exceed that.”
Green compared Lahaina to a bomb-hit area saying, “There is no doubt everyone would describe this as a bomb-hit Lahaina. It looks like total devastation, buildings that we’ve all enjoyed and celebrated together for decades, for generations, are completely destroyed.”
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The White House informed, “The president expressed his deep condolences for the lives lost and vast destruction of land and property.”
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