US President Donald Trump approved a Puerto Rico Disaster Declaration on Thursday. This declaration acknowledges that a major disaster exists in Puerto Rico and federal assistance is necessary in order to alleviate the effects of both the earthquake and hurricane that detrimentally affected the island.
Prior to this declaration, Puerto Rico was awaiting funding that Congress appropriated for the island after Hurricane Maria devastated the island, destroying its electrical grid in 2017. More recently, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Puerto Rico causing widespread blackouts.
This declaration makes federal funding available to the municipalities of Guanica, Guayanilla, Penuelas, Ponce, Utuado and Yauco. The funding can be used for temporary housing, loans to cover uninsured property losses and business owners affected by these natural disasters.
The US government will continue to assess other municipalities in Puerto Rico and designate federal funds to those municipalities as it sees fit.