Trump approves Puerto Rico disaster declaration

Trump approves Puerto Rico disaster declaration
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President Trump has declared that destruction in Puerto Rico constitutes a major disaster after Hurricane Irma passed through the region, the White House said early Sunday.

The president also ordered federal aid to supplement recovery efforts.

“Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster,” the White House press office said in a statement.

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“Federal funding is also available to the Commonwealth and to eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by Hurricane Irma in the municipalities of Culebra and Vieques,” it added. “Furthermore, Federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures throughout the Commonwealth.”

Irma battered the Caribbean islands as moved toward Florida, where it made landfall on Sunday morning as a Category 4 storm.

Twenty deaths in the Caribbean have been reported.