Washington, DC -- Recovery operations are underway at the Pentagon and World Trade Center sites, and recovery of victims of the disaster has begun.Initial casualty figures from the New York State Emergency Management Agency report 40 fatalities, between 1500-2000 persons injured and 265 firefighters missing. There have been 266 confirmed fatalities from the four airline crashes. A morgue hangar is being set up in Hangar Seven at La Guardia Airport.
The White House has approved emergency aid for Virginia and a disaster field office will be opened shortly in Arlington, VA.
The Federal Aviation Administration has certified that 170 major airports have met security requirements and it anticipates opening the national airspace system today.
Along with rescue and recovery efforts, a major priority is to restore financial systems and services in lower Manhattan.
From New York, where he is assessing the situation on the ground, FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said, "When I toured downtown, I was stunned at the devastation. But more importantly, I was impressed with the resilience of the spirit of New Yorkers I saw on the street. And that is what will get us through these trying times."
FEMA headquarters continues to operate on a 24-hour basis and more than 2,250 federal personnel are deployed to respond to these incidents.
Other developments as of noon today follow:
- The Port Authority of New York/New Jersey may open fully today. The Lincoln Tunnel is reported open. New Jersey transit and Long Island Railroad service is in operation and subway service is running on a limited basis.
- The Consolidated Edison substation in lower Manhattan was destroyed and approximately 12-13,000 customers remain affected.
- Building 5 of the World Trade Center and at least two other adjacent buildings have been structurally compromised.
- The Urban Search and rescue base of operations in New York has been set up at the Javits Center, and an interim operations facility is being established at the FEMA Region II office in Manhattan.
- All American Red Cross blood collection sites will continue to operate around the clock. Over 1.5 million people have donated blood.
- FEMA, state and voluntary organizations are assessing the need for and ways to best provide crisis counseling to victims, their families and disaster workers at their work and home sites.
- The hospital ship USS Comfort is expected in NY by Friday.
- As a precautionary measure the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has recommended that all nuclear power plants, non-power reactors, nuclear fuel facilities and gaseous diffusion plants g to the highest level of security, even though there have been no general or specific threats.