Just days after Super Typhoon Yutu raked the CNMI with sustained winds of 180 miles per hour late Wednesday and early Thursday, recovery efforts are already well underway, with major roads made passable after being cleared of fallen trees and power poles.
According to Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office public information officer Nadine Deleon Guerrero, Saipan and Tinian bore the brunt of the typhoon and the primary priority is restoring power.
Deleon Guerrero said that another concern is water and, as of yesterday, the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. has opened three water distribution centers. The centers were built for the public to get clean water for household needs. The centers are located in As Matuis, Kanat Tabla, and Capital Hill.
The first of many recovery relief distribution drives was held yesterday at five different stations: the American Memorial Park, the Koblerville Fire Station, the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium, Kagman, and San Roque.
Deleon Guerrero said that the administration is looking at holding more relief drives throughout the week once seaport issues have been dealt with.
Deleon Guerrero added that relief goods are expected from numerous places like Guam, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and more. The U.S. Coast Guard has agreed to help transport relief goods from Guam to the CNMI.
Shelters all over Saipan have reached maximum capacity and Deleon Guerrero said the administration is looking at opening more shelters to house the many families that lost their homes.
The Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport was also opened yesterday. According to Deleon Guerrero, United Airlines operated its first flight to transport stranded tourists to Guam where they can catch the next flight home. The airport is prioritizing relief inbound flights and outbound flights for tourists and residents who have been stranded on Saipan since Super Typhoon Yutu hit.
The Saipan Mayor’s Office, Department of Public Works, and CUC have also been working diligently in terms of clearing roadways of typhoon debris. Deleon Guerrero said most roadways are now accessible.
The Commonwealth Health Center reported one fatality and 133 typhoon-related injuries. Deleon Guerrero said that patients sustained either lacerations, or needed surgeries due to cuts from wood or glass.