365 DAYS AFTER YUTU
A year after Super Typhoon Yutu clobbered the CNMI on Oct. 24, 2018, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has already approved nearly 7,000 individual assistance applications and spent over $40.5 million in household programs, among other forms of assistance.
FEMA and the Office of the Governor reported yesterday that they have collaboratively approved 6,958 applications for individual assistance; spent $40.5 million in the individual and household program; spent $131 million for public assistance; and spent $97.4 million U.S. Small Business Administration funds.
Besides spending, FEMA and the Torres administration, with the help of other non-profit organizations, also repaired 546 temporary roofs; provided 2,744 temporary tents; provided 66 temporary school classrooms; took care of 193 shipping containers containing household hazardous waste; removed 215,879 cubic yards of debris; installed 2,144 concrete power poles; and completed 94 projects under the VALOR program, or Volunteer Agencies Leading and Organizing Repairs.
“Super Typhoon Yutu devastated our islands a year ago, and we continue the work of rebuilding our lives, our homes, and our community. Our recovery continues, and we remain committed as ever to rebuild stronger with the help of FEMA, our federal partners, private sector partners, nongovernmental organizations, and volunteers. Our resiliency and our ability to come together are why we will build a stronger Marianas for the future,” said Gov. Ralph DLG Torres in a statement yesterday.
“It’s been one year since [Super] Typhoon Yutu made landfall in [the] CNMI. As [the] CNMI rebuilds, we will stand with the people and leaders who are dedicated to building more resilient communities,” said FEMA Region IX Administrator Robert Fenton.
Super Typhoon Yutu is recognized as the strongest typhoon ever recorded to hit the Mariana Islands and the second strongest to hit the United States or its territories.
Yutu made landfall on Tinian and Saipan on Oct. 24, 2019, bringing with it sustained wind speeds of 130 to 180 mph.
During Yutu’s rampage, it took the life of two residents, injured at least 133, and damaged large portions of Saipan and Tinian’s infrastructure.
U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s major disaster declaration was announced on Oct. 26, 2018 and made federal funding available for NMI residents.
All government agencies prioritized debris removal and the restoration of power and water for residents.
“By engaging the full capacity of the private and nonprofit sectors, including businesses, faith-based and disability organizations, and the…public, in conjunction with the participation of local, territorial, and federal governmental partners to shape a more effective path to societal security and resilience, together, we hope to restore, redevelop, and revitalize the health, social, economic, natural, and environmental fabric of the community and build a more resilient CNMI,” the FEMA and Torres administration statement noted.