CNMI counts costs for Soudelor damage

7:55 am on 6 August 2015

The cost of the devastation exacted by typhoon Soudelor in the Northern Marianas is expected to exceed $US20 million.

Initial damage from Typhoon Soudelor in Saipan

Initial damage from Typhoon Soudelor in Saipan Photo: Mark Rabago

The typhoon battered the Northern Marianas on Sunday night, damaging homes and infrastructure across the island.

The Red Cross says there are 545 people in emergency shelters due to damage to their homes, loss of power and loss of water.

Soudelor sustained winds of around 170 kilometres an hour damaging Saipan's power grid and caused a significant oil spill at seaport.

Several hundred gallons of oil are reported to have spilled into the harbour and the port is closed.

Executive Director of the Red Cross in Saipan, John Hirsh, says officials have been trying to find the source of the leak amongst all the debris.

"Our environmental protection agency and our Coastal resource and Fisheries personnel have all been down there putting up booms to prevent the spill from spreading and our United States Coastguard is also helping to improve that situation."

A state of emergency has been declared for the Northern Marianas by Acting Governor Ralph Torres.

Our correspondent, Mark Rabago, says Mr Torres has now made a formal request to President Barack Obama to expedite major disaster declarations for the Commonwealth.

After moving away from the CNMI Soudelor strengthened to Super Typhoon level and has become the strongest tropical cyclone to date in 2015.

CNMI Acting Governor Ralph Torres has specifically requested the following:

  • Individual assistance for the islands of Saipan and Tinian.
  • Debris removal and emergency protective measures under the public assistance program for the island of Rota.
  • Full public assistance, including direct federal assistance for the island of Saipan.
  • Full Public Assistance for the Island of Tinian.
  • Hazard mitigation for the entire Commonwealth.
Damage on Saipan in CNMI from Typhoon Soudelor

Damage in CNMI from Typhoon Soudelor Photo: Facebook

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