Government offices to reopen on Saipan, Tinian today

EMERGENCY: Acting Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands Gov. Arnold Palacios signs a letter requesting a declaration of emergency earlier this month in anticipation of Supertyphoon Hagibis. File photo courtesy CNMI Governor's Office 

CNMI acting Gov. Arnold Palacios sent a letter to President Donald Trump seeking a declaration of a federal state of emergency in anticipation of recovery following Typhoon Hagibis. 

The islands are still recovering from Supertyphoon Yutu. 

In his letter, Palacios asks for direct federal assistance, including Department of Defense strategic airlift, mass care, and sheltering commodities.

“I have determined this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the Commonwealth government and supplemental federal assistance is necessary to save lives and to protect property, public health and safety, and to lessen the effects of this impending calamity,” Palacios wrote in his letter to President Trump.

CNMI Gov. Ralph Torres is in Hawaii for scheduled meetings with the Department of Defense. He spoke on the phone with FEMA acting Administrator Peter Gaynor.

“Gaynor expressed his support for the Marianas and committed his full support to assisting our people," Torres said. 

Both Torres and Palacios noted that the CNMI is still recovering from the impact of Supertyphoon Yutu last year, which devastated Saipan and Tinian.

“The intensity and erratic movement of the storm threatens such destruction to public and private infrastructure that are partially being restored from the catastrophic damages of Super Typhoon Yutu less than a year ago,” Palacios wrote.

“We continue to make every effort to be proactive and ensure that federal and local resources are dedicated to bringing everyone back to normalcy as soon as possible. We remain Marianas strong,” Torres said.