FEMA denies assistance for people who suffered losses - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

FEMA denies assistance for people who suffered losses

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It's been exactly one month since Typhoon Dolphin struck our island, causing hundreds of families to seek emergency shelter, causing damage to the island's power system and resulting in millions of dollars worth of damages. Earlier this month, a major disaster declaration was issued by President Barack Obama, it apparently will not cover individual assistance for people who suffered losses as a result of the storm.

According to Guam Homeland Security public affairs officer Jenna Gaminde, individual assistance was denied for Guam, but the governor is still able to appeal. According to a June 9 letter from FEMA's Office of Response and Recovery, while the damage to the infrastructure was significant throughout Guam, based on FEMA's review of the information available including the results of a joint federal, territory, and local government preliminary damage assessment- it has been determined the impact to individuals and households from Typhoon Dolphin "was not of the severity and magnitude to warrant the designation for individual assistance."

As we reported, the governor's request for a presidential declaration indicated at the height of the storm, there were over 1,000 individuals who sought emergency shelter. We should note however that $250,000 has already been approved by the Department of the Interior to aid an estimated 300 individuals left misplaced or homeless from the storm.

In the meantime, Guam Homeland Security will be hosting a briefing tomorrow for those who qualify for FEMA's Public Assistance Grant Program, which includes GovGuam agencies and certain private non-profit groups who experienced damages from Typhoon Dolphin. The presidential declaration issued earlier this month only triggers the release of federal funds for public assistance and hazard mitigation.

A preliminary assessment had outlined nearly $10 million in damage for GovGuam, businesses and crop loss. The briefing is set for 1pm on Tuesday at the GHS facility in Agana Heights.

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