By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Saipan-- President Joe Biden today approved CNMI Gov. Arnold I. Palacios' request for a presidential emergency declaration to support the territory's emergency response to Typhoon Mawar and recovery efforts.
According to the White House, the “president’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (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 islands of Agrihan, Alamagan, Pagan, Rota, Saipan, and Tinian.”
“We are thankful to President Biden, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for their quick response to the CNMI’s request for an emergency declaration,” Palacios said.
“The presidential declaration expands the ongoing and recovery efforts in response to Typhoon Mawar, including the deployment of additional resources to Rota, which is located in a more direct path of the storm.”
FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency, according to the White House.
The request for the pre-landfall emergency declaration was signed by Governor Palacios yesterday in consultation with CNMI’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office.
Benigno B. Ruiz of FEMA has been appointed to coordinate Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.
“We are taking other proactive measures to help mobilize additional resources in this storm,” Palacios said. “The CNMI’s resilience has grown and expanded having experienced other typhoons these past few years. Nonetheless, we want to maximize and deploy all assistance available to our community as they face yet another natural disaster.”