Governor Lamont Supports Puerto Rico’s Request for Major Disaster Declaration Following Devastating Earthquakes
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today delivered the following letter to President Donald Trump expressing strong support for Puerto Rico’s request for a major disaster declaration in response to the powerful 6.4-magnitude earthquake that occurred on January 7 and hundreds of related aftershocks that have caused devastation on the island.
The Honorable Donald J. Trump
Dear President Trump:
As you know, the island of Puerto Rico has been devastated over the past two years by a series of natural disasters. Most recently, a powerful 6.4-magnitude earthquake – the strongest in over a century – struck the island on January 7, with subsequent aftershocks continuing over the past several days. Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced requested on January 11, 2020, that you declare a major disaster in Puerto Rico. On behalf of the citizens of Connecticut and particularly our Puerto Rican community whose family and friends on the island have been terribly affected by this earthquake and past natural disasters, I urge you to swiftly grant Governor Vázquez’s request.
Connecticut stands ready to answer any request for mutual aid or to assist the island’s response. Furthermore, Connecticut charities, community organizations, and local governments are raising funds to support relief efforts and we will welcome any evacuees from the island during the ongoing emergency response as subsequent recovery efforts.
But federal action is critical. Press reports indicate that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will finally disburse the $8.3 billion in Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding appropriated by Congress in response to Hurricane Maria. If true, that is a positive development, although long overdue. Further federal aid is urgent, however. Again, I urge you to declare a major disaster in response to the January 7 earthquake.