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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                         (New York, New York)
For Immediate Release                                 September 21, 1998
                   EXISTS IN THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS

The President today declared an emergency exists in the U.S. Virgin Islands and ordered Federal aid to supplement territory and local recovery efforts in the area struck by Hurricane Georges on September 21, 1998, and continuing.

The President's action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the disaster on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives, protect property and public health and safety, and lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the disaster. Direct Federal assistance will be provided for the first 72 hours at 100 percent Federal funding in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

James L. Witt, Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), named Barbara T. Russell of FEMA's regional office in New York to coordinate Federal response and recovery operations in the affected areas.