More Than $1.2M to PR Department of Housing for Lares Damages

February 15, 2006

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reported the approval of $1,214,441 million to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for acquisition of properties. The funds are being designated to the PR Department of Housing under FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).

With a total project cost of $1,619,255 million, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico will provide $404,814 corresponding to the 25% State share. The approved project includes the acquisition of nine residential properties located in the Molina Sector of the Municipality of Lares. The properties were destroyed by landslides during the heavy rains which affected Puerto Rico on Oct. 9-15, 2005. Furthermore, the project includes the demolition of all the structures within 90 days from the date of the acquisition.

“This mitigation project will help reduce landslide related long-term risks to people and property in the area,” said Alejandro De La Campa, DHS/ FEMA Disaster Recovery manager at the Caribbean Division Office. “FEMA continues working closely with Commonwealth and municipal officials supporting this cost-effective and viable project.”

The PR Department of Housing and the Office of the Governor’s Authorized Representative (GAR) will perform geotechnical engineering soil studies in the affected project site to conduct an extensive analysis to better understand the behavior of the soil.

The results will reportedly enable the determination of the best mitigation actions and projects, and will also help FEMA identify mitigation opportunities to prevent related- disasters in Puerto Rico.

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