Super Typhoon Yutu, the most powerful tropical cyclone of 2018, slammed into the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) on Wednesday. Over the next 12 hours, waves of up to 25-40 ft., torrential rainfall, and mudslides are expected. The CNMI Governor has declared a state of emergency and the President has approved an Emergency Declaration.
There are 13 shelters open in CMNI with 571 residents, and 8 shelters open in Guam with 290 residents. There are widespread power and water outages, and 10 days-worth of food and water available for survivors.
The American Red Cross is sending in a National Disaster Response Leadership Team, including a volunteer from Oahu, to Saipan to assist with the response.
“The Northern Mariana Islands is still recovering from Typhoon Manghkut that struck last month as well as Typhoon Soudelor from 2015, which was the worst storm in 30 years,” said Coralie Chun Matayoshi, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross, Pacific Islands Region, which includes Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. “As part of the Pacific Region, we are prepared to help the Red Cross on the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam.”
RECONNECTING WITH LOVED ONES Communication is challenging throughout the region. This is a time for neighbors to help neighbors, and, when possible, help each other to reconnect with loved ones. The Red Cross has two ways to help you reconnect with loved ones. The free Red Cross Safe and Well website allows people to register and post messages to indicate that they are safe, or to search for loved ones. The site is open to the public and available in Spanish. Registrations and searches can be done on the website or by texting SAFE to 78876.
The Red Cross Emergency App “I’m Safe” button allows users to post a message to their social accounts, letting friends and family know they are out of harm’s way. The Emergency App is in English and Spanish and is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
HOW YOU CAN HELP Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster. Help the Red Cross respond to disasters like Typhoon Yutu by donating at redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS, or mailing a check to your local office.