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Hawaii disaster officials caution quake damage not immediately evident

Hawaii disaster officials caution quake damage not immediately evident

Residents of Hawai’i County who have felt the ground rumble beneath their homes as a result of the ongoing Kilauea eruptions and earthquakes are encouraged to look carefully for damage.

Signs of earthquake damage are not immediately evident and can be cumulative. Even small quakes can cause damage. Residents should check their property periodically and document any damage. Look for:

• damages to foundations, piers and pillars
• cracks in walls;
• doors that don’t close easily; and
• unexplained debris near wall and floor joints.

Residents with losses from the Kilauea eruptions and earthquakes that began May 3 are encouraged to register for disaster assistance from FEMA. They may do so:

• at the Disaster Recovery Center in the Kea‘au High School Gymnasium, 16-725 Kea‘au-Pahoa Rd., Kea‘au.
• online at
• by phone at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585.

Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay service may call 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

Until further notice, the DRC is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Low interest disaster assistance loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are also available to help repair or replace disaster damaged property. To apply for SBA low-interest disaster loans, Business owners, private nonprofits, homeowners and renters can visit the disaster recovery center for one-on-one assistance or apply online using SBA’s secure website.

Residents who have already registered with FEMA and have had a home inspection to verify damage are also encouraged to look for new damage resulting from the ongoing earthquakes. If additional damage is found, residents may appeal FEMA’s decision on eligibility and/or assistance amount and request their property to be inspected again.