Yutu claims woman’s life

A 44-year-old local woman died from injuries she sustained after an abandoned building in Chalan Kanoa she sought shelter in collapsed during the height of Super Typhoon Yutu.

This was confirmed by the Office of the Governor in a press release late last night. No other details about the woman’s identity were provided.

“This is an unfortunate incident, but CNMI and federal partners continue to focus on life-saving and life-sustaining operations,” the statement from the Office of the Governor read.

As Super Typhoon Yutu moves away from the Marianas region, extensive damage to critical infrastructure on Saipan and Tinian has left the Commonwealth devastated with many families displaced. Relief and recovery efforts are now well underway as the CNMI government is taking appropriate measures to ensure the safety and security of all residents in the Marianas.

The CNMI Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is urging residents to remain indoors until the “All Clear” has been issued to allow first responders to clear roadways of debris. Lanes have been cleared for first responder transport and commuter traffic, but an advisory remains in effect as downed power poles and lines obstruct normal traffic flow on the main highways and access points.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres noted that coordination between the CNMI and federal partners have already begun.

“I want to thank our first responders, HSEM, FEMA, Department of Defense, the American Red Cross, and our law enforcement, especially the good folks at the CNMI Emergency Operations Center from every government department, nonprofit organizations, and private sector representatives for their ongoing work and dedication before and during this storm and now for this long recovery period,” Torres said.

“Our first responders remain vigilant and working around the clock by clearing roadways, tending to damaged infrastructure, and providing support for our displaced residents. This is the worst storm to hit the Marianas since Typhoon Jean back in 1968. Marianas, while we have been battered by this disaster, we will be stronger because we are resilient. Our community, our neighbors, our friends, and our families are ready to rebuild stronger and faster than this typhoon,” Torres added.

Joint damage assessments are being coordinated between the Office of the Governor, FEMA, and the American Red Cross. All three agencies have conducted individual preliminary assessments. The assessments will be a part of Governor Torres’ request for a Major Disaster Declaration.

Shelters
All shelters on Saipan and Tinian are at full capacity. There are about 840 shelterees, and that number expects to increase as displaced residents continue to seek shelter. For displaced residents, CNMI first responders are working around the clock to activate additional ones in coordination with the Public School System and the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs.

Humanitarian relief
Torres authorized an expedited request to FEMA for immediate humanitarian relief for displaced residents. Food, water, cots, toilet kits, tarps and temporary shelter resources are a part of that request. HSEM will be opening public areas for drive-by food distribution and will have a full announcement soon.

Torres has remained in contact with the Department of Defense on military supported humanitarian relief efforts.

Torres and first responders are working with private sector partners on use of reverse osmosis (RO) systems for distributing drinking water for residents.

For now, if you are living in a damaged home and require emergency assistance, please visit your local fire station for transportation assistance for health emergency situations.

The Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority (COTA) remains on standby for residents requiring transportation. To schedule pick-up transport, please contact the CNMI State Warning Point at (670) 664-8000.

OFFICIAL MULTI-AGENCY UPDATES

Office of the Governor
All government offices remain closed until further notice by the Governor. Several government departments and agencies have reported major and minor damage to public infrastructure and facilities.

FEMA
Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) that were opened for the Presidential Declaration pertaining to Typhoon Mangkhut will remain closed until further notice. Once a thorough assessment is made, DRCs will reopen or relocate.

Federal Disaster Assistance for Super Typhoon Yutu is NOT available to CNMI residents until a Major Disaster Declaration is requested by the Governor and approved by the President. Governor Torres and his senior leadership team are currently coordinating with federal partners on submitting the request as soon as possible.

Communications
Communication lines have been intermittent as emails, text messages, and calls have been slow over the last 24 hours. Internet has been inconsistent due to power outages and telecommunication facility maintenance.

Public School System
All public schools have suspended classes until further notice due to sheltering of displaced residents, as well as extensive damage to schools on Saipan and Tinian.

Northern Marianas College
All campuses (Saipan, Tinian, and Rota) have suspended classes until further notice.

Commonwealth Utilities Corp.
CUC reported 200 to 300 downed power poles, 400 to 500 leaning power poles, and significantly large number of downed transformers and conductors on Saipan and Tinian. A request has been made through FEMA for 700 to 800 power poles, transformers, and additional materials to begin power restoration. Assessments are ongoing regarding timeframe for water and power restoration. Water restoration is a power issue, and that will be prioritized first.

Initial priority of CUC is to remove damaged infrastructure off primary and secondary roads with the assistance of first response teams that include the Department of Public Works and the Saipan and Tinian Mayor’s Offices.

CUC has been in contact with the Guam Power Authority for assistance and resource sharing.

Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.
For emergency medical care, please proceed to the CHC Emergency Department. Local fire stations can provide emergency transportation or by calling (670) 234-8950.

All CHC Dialysis Clinic patients will receive calls upon resumption of clinic hours, regarding information of resuming their dialysis treatment schedule.
CHCC remains in contact with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on deployment of Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMAT).

Tinian Health Center is inactive due to major flooding and damage. Minor damage present at the CHCC Emergency Room. CHCC will be conducting mobile outreach soon.

Kagman Community Health Center
KCHC is scheduled to reopen Friday, Oct. 26, 2018 at 8am.

Saipan International Airport
No flight operations until further notice due to significant damage in both the international and commuter terminals. Commonwealth Ports Authority (CPA) personnel including Ports Police and air operators remain at the airport for security and maintenance purposes on portable generators. Airport currently not on a backup generator.

Saipan Seaport
The Port of Saipan remains under Zulu status by the US Coast Guard. There will be no movement in and out of the Port.

Saipan Tribune

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