CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.Res. 76 is being considered on the floor under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. This legislation was introduced by Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) on January 21, 2009.
H.Res. 76 resolves that the House of Representatives:
• "Mourns the terrible loss of life caused by the landslide that occurred on January 4, 2009, in Guatemala and the earthquake on January 8, 2009, in Costa Rica;
• "Expresses its deepest condolences to the families of the many victims; and
• "Applauds the prompt humanitarian responses to these natural disasters by the Governments of Guatemala and Costa Rica."
The legislation also resolves that it is the sense of the House of Representatives that it should be the policy of the United States to:
• "Continue technical assistance to Central American governments in order to strengthen their capacity at the national, provincial, and local levels in the area of disaster management coordination and preparedness, including implementing information and communications systems to help with the response to natural disasters; and
• "Work closely with the governments of these countries to improve disaster mitigation techniques and compliance among all key sectors of their societies."
According to the resolution's findings, on January 4, 2009, millions of tons of earth fell onto a road in the Alta Verapaz area north of Guatemala City, Guatemala. At least 38 people have been confirmed dead and up to 60 may be missing. Rescue organizations, volunteers, and agencies from throughout Guatemala had been working at the site until danger of another landslide shut down the operation.
On January 8, 2009, a 6.1 magnitude earthquake shook the region of San Jose, Costa Rica. 20 Costa Ricans have been confirmed dead, over 100 have been treated for injuries, and up to 17 may be missing, including many buried by resulting landslides from the earthquake.