CNMI congressman says typhoon response unacceptable

9:43 am on 12 August 2015

The power company in the Northern Marianas says it could take more than a month to restore Saipan's power grid, much of which was damaged by Typhoon Soudelor last week.

An aerial view of Saipan after Typhoon Soudelor.

An aerial view of Saipan after Typhoon Soudelor. Photo: Facebook

Meanwhile, the territory's congressman has admitted some relief operations have been unacceptable.

Gregorio Sablan

Gregorio Sablan Photo: RNZI Mark Rabago

Hundreds of people have sought federal aid and remain without water and electricity after the storm hit nine days ago.

The Commonwealth Utilities Corporation says about 800 power poles were downed, and reconnecting power to its 13,000 customers depend on the availability and shipment of materials.

Its executive director, John Riegel, says the hospital should return to the power grid soon, and a limited water supply has returned to some areas.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's operations have restarted after a mix up in the delivery of vital supplies last Sunday which caused severe delays.

The territory's delegate to Congress, Gregorio Kilili Sablan, says some of FEMA's operations have been unacceptable.

Tourism has also been affected, with the Visitors' Authority saying 7,000 prospective visitors have cancelled their trips.

Initial damage from Typhoon Soudelor in Saipan

Initial damage from Typhoon Soudelor in Saipan Photo: Mark Rabago

Damage on Saipan in CNMI from Typhoon Soudelor

Damage in CNMI from Typhoon Soudelor Photo: Facebook

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