FEMA has approved a second request for aid coming from Virginia to help recover from a powerful earthquake that struck the state in August of this year. The 5.8-magnitude has caused more than $22 million in damage to date. Given the rarity of earthquakes in the Eastern U.S., few Virginia residents have adequate insurance coverage for such happenings. More than 1,404 homes have been damaged by the quake and the 40 aftershocks that shook the state in the following weeks.
FEMA had initially denied the request for aid after insurers first estimated that the disaster had caused no more than $9 million in damage. State insurance regulators, backed by Governor Robert McDonnell and the state Legislature, petitioned the agency to provide aid for the state after the full extent of the damage caused by the quake was discovered. Governor McDonnell notes that many homes and businesses have been extensively damaged by the disaster and hopes that FEMA’s aid will help the state recovery quickly.
FEMA’s aid will come in the form of low-interest loans that will help those without insurance recover from the losses they incurred from the quake. FEMA will also be encouraging state residents to purchase earthquake insurance for any future events that may occur, despite the fact that earthquakes a incredibly rare on the East Coast. The agency notes that insurance can significantly reduce the financial damage caused by natural disasters.
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