Alaska Quake Preliminary Damage Estimate Set at $76M

January 4, 2019

A preliminary assessment of the impact of last month’s magnitude 7.0 earthquake in south central Alaska shows an early damage estimate of $76 million.

The Anchorage Daily News reports the state plans to use the data to submit a request for a major disaster declaration from the federal government.

Such a declaration could free up funds to help those affected by the Nov. 30 earthquake that struck 7 miles north of Anchorage.

On the day of the quake, President Donald Trump issued an emergency disaster declaration to provide funding for immediate needs. Federal transportation officials quickly freed up $5 million for emergency road repairs.

State officials say their assessment found $28 million in damages to homes and $48 million in damage to public facilities.

“Chances are the actual costs will be larger,” said Logan Stolpe, a spokesman with the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Teams from the state, local governments, Federal Emergency Management Agency and Small Business Administration worked on the damage assessment.

Of the 620 most damaged homes reviewed in the region, nine were considered destroyed because repairs would cost more than the value of the homes. Another 288 had major damage, such as a compromised roof or cracked foundations.

More than 6,000 requests for assistance have been submitted to the state under its Individual Assistance Program, primarily from people reporting damage to homes.

Stolpe said FEMA officials have assured the state the ongoing partial federal government shutdown won’t stall the state’s declaration request.

The quake has been followed by thousands of aftershocks.

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