The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Friday it has pledged more than $5.6 million in aid to nearly 2,000 households in Maui so far to assist survivors of the destructive wildfires.
Agency officials also announced it is offering a one-time payment of $700 per household to help assist survivors with essentials, including clothing, food, and transportation. More than 6,000 survivors have applied for disaster assistance as of Friday said officials said during a phone briefing with reporters on Friday.
Officials added it will help those survivors who live in the same household apply for benefits as well. Survivors need to register with FEMA to be eligible for the payout and other assistance.
FEMA said it will continue paying to put survivors in area hotels and motels. Currently, the agency has secured between 700 to 1,000 rooms, said Elizabeth Ashe, a FEMA recovery division senior official. FEMA said it has paid around $2.3 million in rental assistance so far.
Property losses estimated at $3.2 billion
More than 3,000 buildings were damaged by fire, smoke, or both, mostly in the historic town of Lahaina. Insured property losses have already totaled around $3.2 billion, according to Karen Clark & Company, a disaster modeling firm.
FEMA paid out $238 million in assistance in the wake of the Camp Fire in 2018, which killed 85 people and leveled the city of Paradise, California. The fire, which also gutted thousands of homes and cars, caused upwards of $16.5 billion in damage.
More FEMA workers on site in Maui to aid with recovery
At least 111 people have died from the devastating fires in Maui and authorities say the death toll will continue rising as search and rescue teams’ efforts continue. FEMA said Friday it now has about 1,000 workers on site aiding with the recovery. The Red Cross has 300 workers on the scene as well.
Also, FEMA officials reiterated on Friday it opened a joint disaster recovery center on the University of Hawaii, Maui campus from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. HST to help survivors apply for assistance and distribute aid faster.
Contributing: Associated Press