Super Typhoon Hagibis spared most of the CNMI from the destruction wrought by previous mega-storms like Soudelor and Yutu.
“We dodged a bullet,” said one of the emergency evacuation shelter occupants.
Jim, whose name is withheld for privacy reasons, said that his house was destroyed by Super Typhoon Yutu last October 2018. The place where he currently lives cannot sustain any pummeling from the bad weather, forcing him to move to an emergency shelter.
He said that he learned of the opening of the emergency shelters through texts from IT&E and he took no chances. Jim said he was able to pack a couple of days’ worth of clothing and food for his family of four.
“My wife and two kids have already experienced the trauma of losing our home right in front of our eyes. …We don’t want to take any more risks,” he said.
Once he left the shelter, Jim learned that his family’s home was safe. He said he and his family are just thankful that the typhoon did not destroy their home and can now go back with peace of mind.
Another interviewee, who also requested anonymity, said she is thankful that everyone was prepared for this typhoon.
“Once we got word of the typhoon over the weekend, we decided to go shop for all the necessary goods to prepare for something similar to [Super Typhoon] Yutu and it is great to see everyone prepare by getting gas, stocking up on supplies, and just praying for the best,” she said.
She said that Typhoon Soudelor back in 2015 was a learning experience for everyone in the CNMI, while Super Typhoon Yutu was the standard set for everyone in terms of preparation. “I am thankful that Super Typhoon Hagibis…was not as harsh as [Super Typhoon] Yutu and it’s great to see everyone get back to work,” she said.