President Declares Major Disaster for the Mariana Islands

November 9, 2005

The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster aid has been made available for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by Typhoon Nabi.

Acting FEMA Director R. David Paulison said the assistance was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued for the Commonwealth by President Bush. The declaration covers damage to public property from Typhoon Nabi that occurred over the period of Aug. 30 through Sept. 1, 2005.

Immediately after the President’s action, Paulison designated the following areas eligible for federal funding to pay the commonwealth and affected local governments and certain private non-profit organizations on a cost sharing basis for the restoration of damaged facilities: the Islands of Rota, Saipan and Tinian. The funding also covers eligible commonwealth and local government costs for debris removal and emergency services related to the disaster.

Federal funding is also available on a cost sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for the islands of Rota, Saipan and Tinian.

Paulison said the declaration also makes cost-shared funding available to the commonwealth for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks. He indicated that additional assistance may be made later if requested by the commonwealth and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

Woodrow Goins of FEMA was named by Paulison to coordinate the federal relief effort. Goins said that procedures for requesting assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings at locations to be announced shortly in the affected area.

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