Media release | Hawaii Office of the Governor
Honolulu – Governor Neil Abercrombie today formally requested an Administrative Disaster Declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration to help Hawaii Island homeowners, renters, businesses and nonprofits affected by the tsunami that swept across the state on March 11, 2011.
Work is also underway on a request to President Obama for a Presidential Disaster Declaration. This declaration would enable counties (Hawai’i County, Maui County, and the City and County of Honolulu) damaged by the Honshu (Tohoku) Tsunami to recoup some of the costs of rebuilding and repairing damaged public infrastructure, such as buildings and harbors.
Governor Abercrombie asked the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide low-interest disaster loans to private individuals, businesses and nonprofits on Hawai’i Island to repair or replace materials damaged from the tsunami. Damages sustained on the other islands did not qualify for disaster loans under SBA guidelines.
“These are follow-up steps to help those affected by the tsunami. When I visited places that were hard hit like the Big Island, the first step was already being done and that is the sharing of the aloha spirit and communities pulling together to take care of one another,” said Governor Abercrombie. “We are looking at every option that may be available to provide financial assistance to those who need it.”
The State Civil Defense is also coordinating with state and county agencies to open a Disaster Assistance and Recovery Center at the Old Kona Airport Event Pavilion, located at 75-5530 Kuakini Highway, from Tuesday, March 29 to Wednesday, March 30 at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. State agencies and community groups will be there to answer questions from residents and businesses affected by the tsunami on a wide range of programs and services.
According to estimates reported to the State Civil Defense, the preliminary damage estimates from the tsunami that hit Hawai’i after the Honshu earthquake in Japan totals $30.6 million.
Government Damage Estimates Reported
Hawai’i County – $2.3 million
Maui County – $2.7 million
City and County of Honolulu – $3.4 million
Kaua’i County – $60,400
Total Public Infrastructure Damages – $8.5 million
Damages to Businesses and Residents
West Hawai’i businesses – $13.5 million
Hawai’i Island homes – $2.5 million
Maui County homes – $600,000
Private Property (including boats) – $5.5 million
Residents and business owners should report any damage to their property, home or business to Aloha United Way by dialing 2-1-1 (Monday through Friday) or to the State Civil Defense toll free line at 855-211-7456 (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). Aloha United Way’s 2-1-1 operators will record damage reports and refer them to the proper agencies. The 2-1-1 line is taking calls Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.