Trump OK’s emergency declaration


The White House approved yesterday the request of the CNMI government for an emergency declaration for the Commonwealth in the wake of Super Typhoon Hagibis, which knifed through the CNMI last Monday and Tuesday.

President Donald J. Trump declared the emergency in the CNMI and ordered federal assistance to supplement the CNMI due to the emergency conditions that Super Typhoon Hagibis brought.

The emergency declaration authorizes that Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts to alleviate the hardship and suffering caused by the super typhoon and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures.

“Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75% federal funding,” the notice from the White House stated.

Acting governor Arnold I. Palacios asked Trump to declare the federal state of emergency in a letter Monday afternoon, in anticipation of the impact of Super Typhoon Hagibis on Rota, Tinian, Saipan, Pagan, Alamagan, and Agrihan.

“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 (sic) 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. “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,” the acting governor continued, requesting for public assistance emergency protective measures and direct federal assistance, including Department of Defense strategic airlift, mass care, and sheltering commodities.

Super Typhoon Hagibis threaded its way through the Northern Islands via Anatahan, with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph and typhoon-force winds extending outward from the center up to 65 miles. Tropical storm-force winds extended outward from the center up to 205 miles to the north and up to 155 miles to the south in a bulletin update from the CNMI Homeland Security and Emergency Management agency at 11:30pm, Oct. 7, 2019.

The super typhoon, according to an update bulletin from the HSEM, published 2:15pm yesterday, was already moving away from the Marianas, although typhoon condition I remained for Saipan, Tinian, Alamagan, and Pagan.

The HSEM lifted the tropical storm condition I for Rota in their 11:30am update bulletin and declared the “All Clear” condition for Rota in their 2pm bulletin.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.
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