11 Apr 2011

President Obama signs major disaster declaration for Hawaii after Japan quake

11:33 am on 11 April 2011

Hawaii is now eligible for federal aid after President Obama signed a major disaster declaration in the wake of the tsunami damage after Japan's major earthquake.

The Governor, Neil Abercrombie, sought the federal help to assist with an estimated US$30 million in damage to public and private property after the tsunami hit in March.

Federal Emergency Management Agency officials along with state and local teams assessed damage last month and determined parts of the Big Island, Maui and Oahu met the criteria for supplemental federal disaster assistance.

The Honolulu Star Advertiser says the Big Island's Kona coast was the state's hardest-hit area.

The Kona Village and Resort is closed indefinitely and 200 employees are out of work and other resorts also sustained significant damage.