SAN JUAN, P.R. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today the approval of $1,214,441 million to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for acquisition of properties. The funds are being designated to the PR Department of Housing under FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).
With a total project cost of $1,619,255 million, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico will provide $404,814 corresponding to the 25% State share. The approved project includes the acquisition of nine residential properties located in the Molina Sector of the Municipality of Lares. The properties were destroyed by landslides during the heavy rains which affected Puerto Rico on October 9-15, 2005. Furthermore, the project includes the demolition of all the structures within ninety days from the date of the acquisition.
"This mitigation project will help reduce landslide related long-term risks to people and property in the area," said Alejandro De La Campa, DHS/ FEMA Disaster Recovery Manager at the Caribbean Division Office. "FEMA continues working closely with Commonwealth and municipal officials supporting this cost-effective and viable project."
The PR Department of Housing and the Office of the Governor's Authorized Representative (GAR) will perform geotechnical engineering soil studies in the affected project site to conduct an extensive analysis to better understand the behavior of the soil. The results will enable the determination of the best mitigation actions and projects, and will also help FEMA identify mitigation opportunities to prevent related- disasters in Puerto Rico.
The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) provides grants to States and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration, to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster.
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and effectively manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.