‘We’re at halfway mark’

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In just a month following the widespread devastation of Super Typhoon Yutu, the CNMI is already halfway through the restoration process, according to a spokesperson of the CNMI Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office.

In a telephone interview with Nadine Deleon Guerrero, the public information officer of the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office, she said it would be safe to say that just one month after Yutu, the CNMI has made it to the halfway mark in the recovery process.

Although there still isn’t power in many places on Saipan, Deleon Guerrero pointed out that power has been restored to parts of the island just weeks after Yutu, nearly 100 percent of the island has running water, and the number of individuals seeking public shelter has been reduced to nearly half.

She said 100 of the 130 water wells on Saipan have been re-energized.

The CNMI government, in partnership with the American Red Cross-NMI Chapter, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Marianas Young Professionals, continue to offer drinkable water.

Each household can avail of up to five 5-gallon water bottles today at the Mount Carmel School field from 9am to 12pm and at the Kagman Fire Station Five from 1pm to 4pm. Water containers are a requirement.

Although there is still no exact percentage on power restoration, the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. stated that, as of yesterday, five out of the nine feeders that energize the island are either completely or partially online.

There has also been a massive drop in the number of shelterees since Super Typhoon Yutu.

Deleon Guerrero said that there were nearly 1,100 shelterees following Super Typhoon Yutu. As of last Saturday, the number has dropped to just 522 individuals.

The Public School System and the Northern Marianas College are also on target to resume classes in a few weeks.

Super Typhoon Yutu was reportedly the biggest typhoon to hit the Commonwealth since the 1960s, far bigger in magnitude and intensity than Super Typhoon Soudelor that left the Commonwealth in shambles back in 2015.

Many assumed that, as experienced following Soudelor, it would take months before the island would make it halfway through the restoration process but that has not been the case.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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