The debris cleanup from Super Typhoon Yutu is nearly complete, with Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang estimating the cleanup at about 90 percent complete.
Citing personal estimates, Apatang noted the cleanup efforts among the various agencies involved in the post-Yutu cleanup is nearly ending as the CNMI enters into the its 106th day since the Category 5 super typhoon ravaged Saipan and Tinian.
“…So far we are doing very good. I think we are about 90 percent on the debris removal and hopefully we can get up to 99 percent,” he said. Apatang noted that achieving complete debris removal is impossible since some homeowners “do not cooperate.” “If we can get up to 99 percent, we are satisfied with that,” he said.
According to a recent report by Saipan Mayor’s Office field operations director Joann Aquino, the mayor’s office alone was able to collect over 102,000 cubic yards of debris since Oct. 26, 2018, to Feb. 3, 2019. To put that into perspective, most small cars are about 4 cubic yards each.
“We regularly have debris removal task force meetings, usually with participation of a Federal Emergency Management Agency representative,” he said.
Apatang noted that one of the main reasons his office is hard at work with debris collection is to prevent disease and illness from spreading. “…I don’t want to see Typhoon Yutu debris lying around where rats and mosquitoes can breed. We want to make sure that rodents don’t multiply in villages.”
He added that the risk multiplies after disasters such as Super Typhoon Yutu.
“We should be concerned about rodents and disease, and that is why we are working very hard to remove the…debris,” he said.
The last day for debris collection is on Feb. 10, 2019. Homeowners must bring their Yutu debris out into the curbside for collection or else the homeowners would be held responsible for the disposal.