Gov. Ralph DLG Torres announced early this morning that he just received a call from the White House informing him that President Donald J. Trump has approved the CNMI’s request for a major disaster declaration in the wake of Super Typhoon Yutu.
Torres said the approval means additional federal assistance will be provided for the CNMI as well as disaster assistance.
The president can declare a major disaster for any natural event that the President determines has caused damage of such severity that it is beyond the combined capabilities of state and local governments to respond. A major disaster declaration provides a wide range of federal assistance programs for individuals and public infrastructure, including funds for both emergency and permanent work.
Under this declaration, the President directs any federal agency to help the affected area (including precautionary evacuations), coordinating all disaster relief assistance, providing technical and advisory assistance (issuing warnings, providing for the public health and safety, and participating in recovery activities), distributing medicine, food and other supplies, and providing accelerated federal assistance when the President deems it necessary.
Tinian and the southern tip of Saipan were both hit directly by the eyewall of Super Typhoon Yutu causing damage and destruction to hundreds of homes with roofs scattered across the islands.
Tropical storm force winds extended south to Rota and north to Agrihan. The power grid has suffered extensive damage, the airport and seaport are still closed, and medical facilities are stressed under backup generators.