Relief is available for those on Molokai who sustained damage as a result of the March 11 tsunami that originated in Japan.
Starting today, a Disaster Loan Outreach Center will be open at the Kilohana Community Center on Molokai’s East End, the area that experienced the only real flooding on Molokai. It will be open from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m. today and April 21.
According to the American Red Cross, at least six homes in the Kamalo area of east Molokai sustained damage from the tsunami. The Keawanui Fishpond at mile marker 12, the location of Walter Ritte’s Hawaiian Learning Center, also reported damage.
Currently, the fishpond is attempting to raise $5,000 by May 21 to cover the costs to repair the damage. Before the tsunami, Keawanui was a completely enclosed pond. The tsunami tore away the majority of the pond wall. The 1,200-foot long wall will need to be completely rebuilt. The estimate is that it will take at least one year to rebuild.
The aid for relief from the tsunami is made possible through the U.S. Small Business Administration, which approved of the Disaster Loan assistance requested by Governor Neil Abercrombie for Maui County. Businesses and residents throughout Maui County can also visit the center at the Kihei Community Center.
“We are working with all available resources to aid our residents and businesses affected by the tsunami and we’re grateful that the federal government has agreed to help,” Governor Abercrombie said.
The declaration from the SBA allows qualified homeowners, renters, businesses and nonprofits in Maui County and Kalawao County (Kalaupapa) to receive help through low-interest disaster loans. The funds can be used to repair or replace materials damaged from the tsunami event.
“We’re still working quickly to rebuild from the damage sustained and help bring normalcy to affected residents and businesses,” said Gov. Abercrombie.
The Disaster Declaration was based on additional damage assessments conducted by teams from the SBA, Civil Defense and American Red Cross agencies.
Another SBA relief center for those on the Big Island will be open in Kailua-Kona through April 21.
For more information visit www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance or call 800-659-2955 or 800-877-8339 (TTY).