BREAKING NEWS: Yutu relief and recovery efforts

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.

The CNMI Office of Homeland Security & 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.

Coordination between the CNMI and federal partners have already begun.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres affirmed that Super Typhoon Yutu is is the worst storm to hit the Marianas since Typhoon Jean back in 1968.

Joint damage assessments are being coordinated between the Office of the Governor, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the American Red Cross. All three agencies have conducted individual preliminary assessments. The assessments will be a part of 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.

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.

First responders are working with private sector partners on use of reverse osmosis systems for distributing drinking water for residents.

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

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

One fatality

There is a confirmed report of one fatality during Super Typhoon Yutu. Local female resident, 44 years-old, sought shelter in Chalan Kanoa in an abandoned building that collapsed during storm.

Govt offices

All government offices remain closed until further notice.

FEMA

Disaster Recovery Centers 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.
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.

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.

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, 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 on deployment of Disaster Medical Assistance Teams.

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 was scheduled to reopen today, Oct. 26, 2018, at 8am.

Saipan International Airport

No flight operations until further notice due to significant damage.

Commonwealth Ports Authority 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 U.S. Coast Guard. There will be no movement in and out of the port.

The Office of the Governor and the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management encourages the Marianas to stay informed through local media partners and the following social media sites:

  • CNMI EOC State Warning Point Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cnmieocswp/
  • CNMI Office of the Governor Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CNMIGov/
  • Governor Ralph DLG. Torres Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ralphdlg.torres/
  • CNMI Joint Information Center: https://www.facebook.com/JICNMI/
  • NWS Website: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/guam/
  • NWS Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NWSGuam/

Shell station

The Shell gas station in Puerto Rico opened for fueling to the general public at 8am but due to irreparable damage to the station’s generators, the station is no longer able to dispense fuel and is now closed.

FHB update

First Hawaiian Bank’s Oleai branch is open from 1:30pm to 4:30pm today, with limited transactions only. The Oleai ATM will be open until 8pm only today.

Triple J restaurants

The following are the operational hours for Triple J Saipan Restaurants:

Great Harvest Bakery: Open – normal operating hours – 7am-7pm​

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co: Open – normal operating hours – 11am-11pm

Tony Roma’s: Open – normal operating hours – 11am-10pm

Capricciosa: Open – normal operating hours – 11am – 10pm

Surf Club Saipan: Open – normal operating hours today, beginning tomorrow Saturday, Oct. 27 operating hours will be from 11am-11pm

Truong’s: Closed ​

Press Release
News under Press Release are official statements issued to Saipan Tribune giving information on a particular matter.

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