State of disaster renewed a 3rd time


Acting governor Ralph DLG Torres signed Sunday a declaration of major disaster and state of significant emergency for the CNMI, the third time the declaration has been renewed since Typhoon Soudelor hit Saipan on Aug. 2.

“Full utility services have not yet been restored to the island of Saipan,” the executive order states. “The disruption of critical infrastructure poses a significant threat to peace, health, and safety of the Commonwealth’s residents.”

Gov. Eloy S. Inos first renewed the Aug. 3 disaster declaration on Sept. 3 and then again on Oct. 2.

On Aug 5., President Barack Obama issued a major disaster declaration for the CNMI under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance, allowing for federal aid to the CNMI after the typhoon.


Meanwhile, government agencies are assessing damage left by Tropical Storm Champi last month, according to press secretary Ivan Blanco yesterday.

Blanco said the government is trying to assess if the damage meets the $1-million threshold for public assistance under the Federal Emergency Management Agency

He said government agencies have a Nov. 16 deadline.

“We have about two weeks to finalize the assessment,” Blanco said, noting that the Office of the Governor’s emergency operations teams were conducting the assessment.

Typhoon Champi and Typhoon Soudelor updates were the main points of discussion during a Cabinet meeting yesterday between Torres and agency heads, according to Blanco.

Blanco said agencies were asked to submit their damage assessments.

He said if they met the $1-million qualification then the CNMI would “seek assistance from FEMA.”

Champi blew through the CNMI last Oct. 16, dumping about 24.77 inches of rain on Tinian and 11.71 inches of rain on Saipan. The heavy rains caused major flooding on Tinian, damaging roads and a waterline, among others.

Dennis B. Chan | Reporter
Dennis Chan covers education, environment, utilities, and air and seaport issues in the CNMI. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Guam. Contact him at

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