James Moylan, Guam’s delegate to Congress, is urging U.S. President Joe Biden to declare a Major Disaster Declaration for Guam to provide federal support to the island.
“Dear President Biden, as I write to you, my people take shelter from winds that exceed 125 miles per hour, cling to each other in darkness, and climb furniture to escape floods inside their homes,” said Moylan in his letter. “Sadly, many won’t be able to exit their homes for another 8-12 hours as disastrous winds continue to torment the island.”
This comes now that Super Typhoon Mawar has passed over Guam, leaving behind destruction, according to Hannah D’Avanzo, his director of communications.
“Super Typhoon Mawar has hit Guam, and I now write to you preemptively to urge the expedient issuance of a Major Disaster Declaration for Guam once the Typhoon has completely passed over our island,” he said. “Issuing a Major Disaster Declaration will open new avenues for Individual and Business Assistance, Public Assistance, and at some point, will provide future Mitigation Funding to the island. I applaud your issuance of a Federal Emergency Declaration prior to Super Typhoon Mawar’s landfall. However, this type of pre-storm declaration only provides for a maximum of $5 million to be made available. As the recovery effort initiates, expediently releasing the post-storm Major Disaster Declaration will help the island stabilize and rebuild.”
Moylan, a republican, said that the Federal assistance will demonstrate the nation’s strength when responding to a crisis in the region.
“Demonstrating the Federal Government’s ability to respond quickly to disaster in Guam will not only provide relief to the people of Guam, many of which continue to be emotionally stricken from their experiences over the past 48 hours but would also send a message that the United States is ready and able to respond to a crisis in the Pacific,” he said. “Quickly restoring Guam to a regular pace of life is not only impactful for my community, but also helps restore our nation’s normal defensive posture. Our people are patriotic and resilient, however the road to recovery will be long and challenging, hence federal support is critical,” he said. “I look forward to working with your administration as we monitor this crisis. Si Yu’os Ma’ase for your part in what has so far been a prompt response to this crisis by the Federal Government.”