Alaska was hit by a major earthquake on November 30th. How is the recovery going?
Alaska is a state.
There are so many factors in the recovery process that it’s hard to compare this progress with the progress in rebuilding roads in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
However, the federal government released $5 million in emergency funds for Alaska within days. Most of the funds allocated to Puerto Rico have still not been released, even though it has been more than a year since Hurricane Maria struck.
79% of requests for help to rebuild homes were rejected by FEMA, and an estimated 35,000 homes are still uninhabitable. The official status website shows that electrical service, telecommunications, assisted dialysis centers, supermarkets, bank branches, tourism, and milk sources are still at less than 100% recovery, more than a year after the hurricanes.
Alaska is a state, not a territory. When Alaska was a territory, it faced poverty and financial crisis, just as the territory of Puerto Rico does now. Now that Alaska is a state, it is the second wealthiest state in the Union.
Alaska was better prepared for disaster than Puerto Rico, and it got off to a better start with the federal government. President Trump tweeted that no expense would be spared. But the main disaster relief funding will have to be approved by Congress. It’s expected that Alaska and California will both be included in disaster recovery funding bills in January.
Major disasters are more common now than they used to be, and this trend will probably continue. Puerto Rico will face another severe hurricane in the future. We hope that Puerto Rico will be a state by that time.