Gov. Eloy S. Inos has declared a state of major disaster and significant emergency on the island of Rota.
According to the declaration, Rota suffered “significant damage to public and private property, the full extent of which is presently unknown” after being hit by Typhoon Dolphin on Friday night.
The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. estimates that 55 homes and businesses are without power or water service. The declaration also states that the “present conditions on Rota threaten the public peace, health, and safety of its residents.”
The Commonwealth Homeland Security and Emergency Management has been authorized to use all available government equipment and property on Rota to respond to the “State of Major Disaster and Significant Emergency.”
The agency is also ordered to provide assistance and support to the people of Rota. In doing so, HSEM and any government agency acting pursuant to its request is granted a temporary exemption from any Commonwealth regulation that would hinder, prevent, or delay any action necessary to support Rota’s recovery.
The agency has also been authorized to control or limit entry and exit to and from any stricken or threatened public area and the movement of persons within the area.
HSEM has been ordered to prepare and a submit a report to the Office of the Governor of any actions it has taken.
It will also provide daily updates to the governor. The Office of the Governor will seek aid from the federal government any aid that is available and necessary.
Press secretary Ivan Blanco Monday said that under the localized state of emergency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency may reimburse the Commonwealth for the costs of repairs for damaged public infrastructure in the aftermath of the typhoon.
“The threshold for public infrastructure is $1 million, so I think Rota will qualify for that,” Blanco said.
Houses may also be included in the public assistance, if the house sustains “30 percent to 40 percent” damage, he said.
Representatives from FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security are doing the assessment. The representatives are also expected to “quantify” the damage.