Washington, D. C. -- The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that President Bush has authorized federal disaster aid for the Northern Mariana Islands to support response efforts on the island of Rota hit by Super Typhoon Pongsona on December 8.
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said the authorization was made under a major disaster declaration issued by the President following a review of the agency's analysis of the commonwealth's request for federal relief.
"The action taken by the President today addresses the immediate emergency priorities while we continue with the process for identifying other critical recovery needs," Allbaugh said.
In addition to the use of federal personnel, equipment and lifesaving systems, Allbaugh said available federal resources for meeting immediate emergency needs can include as required the delivery of generators, tents, food, water, medicine and other essential supplies and services for sustaining human life.
Under the declaration, Allbaugh said federal funds will be provided for the commonwealth and the affected local government on the island of Rota to pay 75 percent of the eligible costs for debris removal and emergency services related to the storm, including requested emergency work undertaken by the federal government. Funds also will be available to the commonwealth for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks.
Allbaugh indicated that additional forms of aid may be designated later after damage is assessed in the stricken area. He named David Fukutomi of FEMA to coordinate the federal recovery effort.