It’s been four days since Typhoon Soudelor struck Saipan (part of the US Commonwealth Northern Mariana Islands) causing the worst devastation the island has seen in decades. Preliminary reports show that 466 homes were destroyed or sustained major damage and another 444 homes were damaged or affected by the typhoon. Power and water on the island may not be restored for 4 to 8 weeks.
The American Red Cross has an office on Saipan and volunteers have been providing help around the clock. Saipan is part of the American Red Cross Pacific Island Region, which includes Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. As of August 7, here is a quick snapshot of Red Cross relief efforts:Mobilized a team of 41 people currently on the island to provide support with sheltering, feeding, logistics and damage assessments. Dozens of additional workers are either en route to the island or on standby to travel.
-Served more than 5,600 meals in government-operated shelters where nearly 600 people have sought refuge.
-Shipped more than 600 rice cookers to Saipan which are en route now.
-Received more than 2,000 calls and visits from people seeking help – that’s nearly 5 percent of the total population of Saipan.
-Created a relief plan to get financial assistance and critical relief supplies to thousands of people in the hardest hit areas. These supplies, currently being mobilized, include bags of rice, canned meat, hygiene products, flashlights, butane stoves, cleaning supplies and tarps.
How You Can Help
Help people affected by disasters like Typhoon Soudelor and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org/donate, or call 1-800-REDCROSS. Contributions may also be sent to the Hawaii Red Cross chapter, which is part of the Pacific Region that includes Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.