Torres speaks with acting FEMA administrator Gaynor
After reviewing forecasts of the impact of Typhoon Hagibis on the inhabited islands of Rota, Tinian, Saipan, Pagan, Alamagan, and Agrihan, acting governor Arnold I. Palacios, along with Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, asked President Donald J. Trump yesterday to ask for an emergency declaration for the CNMI.
The White House is in official receipt of the letter. The White House and the CNMI Office of the Governor has been in constant communication during the past few days as Typhoon Hagibis makes its way to the Marianas.
In his request, Palacios emphasized that the CNMI is still in the midst of recovery from last year’s impact of Super Typhoon Yutu, which devastated Saipan and Tinian.
“The intensity and erratic movement of the storm threatens such destruction to public and private infrastructure that are partially being restored from the catastrophic damage of Super Typhoon Yutu less than a year ago. My request for the emergency declaration is to mobilize critical response resources into the Commonwealth given our location and the time and distance from the mainland,” Palacios noted in the letter.
Currently, Typhoon Hagibis is rapidly intensifying with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph. It continues to strengthen and may possibly grow into a Category 4 typhoon by the time it passes near Anatahan.
“I have determined this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the Commonwealth government and supplemental federal assistance is necessary to save lives and to protect property, public health and safety, and to lessen the effects of this impending calamity,” Palacios said.
His request includes public assistance emergency protective measures and direct federal assistance, including Department of Defense strategic airlift, mass care, and sheltering commodities.
This morning, Torres, who is in Hawaii for prescheduled meetings with the Department of Defense, spoke on the phone with acting Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Peter T. Gaynor.
Torres and Gaynor discussed the CNMI’s request, as well as other measures needed to prepare for the impact of Typhoon Hagibis.
“Acting Administrator Gaynor expressed his support for the Marianas and committed his full support to assisting our people, especially since we are still recovering from Super Typhoon Yutu. Acting Governor Palacios and I thank him and our FEMA partners for their partnership through our recovery and as we prepare for Typhoon Hagibis,” Torres said.
“Despite all the storms that have gone our way, our islands remain resilient, and the lessons learned from our past disasters have made us a stronger community and a more responsive government. We continue to make every effort to be proactive and ensure that federal and local resources are dedicated to bringing everyone back to normalcy as soon as possible. We remain Marianas strong,” Torres added. (PR)