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  • By Pacific island Times News Staff

Trump approves emergency declaration for CNMI

DFEMS firefighters are out clearing debris from all primary roads. Photo courtesy of the CNMI Governor's Office

Saipan-- President Donald J. Trump has expeditiously approved the CNMI's request for an emergency declaration due to conditions resulting from Super Typhoon Hagibis.

“We are very pleased that President Trump has approved our request for a federal emergency declaration. Thank you to the President, the White House, FEMA, acting Administrator Peter Gaynor, Region IX administrator Bob Fenton and Deputy Administrator Bill Roche, and our federal partners for acting on this expeditiously for our residents here in the CNMI," Gov. Ralph Torres saud. "My appreciation goes out to Acting Governor Arnold I. Palacios for submitting our request and everyone at the Emergency Operations Center and our first responders for your service.”

“We are very appreciative to the President, the White House, and FEMA for their approval of our request. FEMA is now officially authorized to coordinate all disaster relief efforts, and our Federal Partners will soon be mobilized to assist our local first responders in our recovery efforts following this storm. We are back on duty at the Emergency Operations Center this morning to assess our damages and next steps forward,” Lt. Gov. Arnold Palacios said.

As of 7 a.m. , the center of super typhoon Hagibis was located by radar near latitude 16.8 degrees north and longitude 144.4 degrees east, moving west-northwest at 20 mph. hHagibis is expected to maintain this west-northwest track today and tonight before turning to a northwest heading Wednesday and Thursday.

Maximum sustained winds remain at 160 mph. Hagibis is forecast to intensify a little more today, then begin to slowly weaken tonight. typhoon force winds extend outward from the center up to 80 miles to the northeast and 50 miles to the southwest. tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 255 miles northeast of the center, and up to 180 miles to the south

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The President's action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the municipalities of Rota, Saipan, Tinian, and the Northern Islands. 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 percent Federal funding. Pete Gaynor, acting administrator of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Teresa Serata as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas. Ms. Serata assisted the CNMI during recovery efforts following Super Typhoon Yutu last October.


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