The first year anniversary of Typhoon Soudelor was remembered through a 5am sunrise vigil yesterday on Capitol Hill.
Typhoon Soudelor’s wrath on the night of Aug. 2, 2015 truly lived in the hearts of the people of Saipan and it was evident on the crowd that gathered at the Capitol Hill baseball field. The crowd was made up of government officials and staff from various agencies, different church groups, and members of the community whose lives had been tremendously changed by the Category 4 typhoon.
Lt. Gov. Victor Hocog, who made the opening remarks, emphasized how “important the community should work together most particularly in times of need, to aid one another.”
Another speaker, Stephen DeBlasio, Federal Emergency Management Agency coordinating officer for Typhoon Soudelor, assured the public that “assistance would continue to be active” and available for the people of the CNMI.
He reaffirmed the federal government’s commitment and support to see these recovery efforts completed.
Commonwealth Advocates for Recovery Efforts spearheaded yesterday’s sunrise vigil and CARE director Jenny Hegland couldn’t help but cry upon remembering Soudelor. She said that because of Typhoon Soudelor she saw the hearts of the people of Saipan.
The “strength and resiliency” that she has seen is the reason why she loves Saipan and she considers the island her home. She recognized how working together with different agencies has made recovery efforts easier to achieve.
The event ended with singing of the popular song “Lean on me.” The song speaks about leaning on each other for support during difficult times. Even though the aftermath of Typhoon Soudelor was catastrophic, the people’s resilient spirit shone through amidst the devastation. One year after Typhoon Soudelor, members of the island community are now able to lead normal lives again.