Officials ask Trump to declare state of emergency for CNMI

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With super typhoon Hagibis anticipated to make its closest point of approach early Tuesday morning, the Government of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands has already requested President Donald Trump to declare a federal state of emergency over the commonwealth.

CNMI Acting Governor Arnold Palacios and other officials made the request after reviewing the forecasted impacts of Hagibis on the inhabited islands of Rota, Tinian, Saipan, Pagan, Alamagan, and Agrihan. The CNMI Multi-Agency coordination team met Monday morning to plan for typhoon’s arrival and also to participate in a weather briefing with the National Weather Service.

According to a release from the CNMI Governor’s Office, the officials have been in constant communication with the White House during the past few days as Hagibis approaches the region.

CNMI Governor Ralph DLG Torres — who is in Hawaii — has also been in touch with FEMA officials to discuss the emergency request.

Aside from direct federal assistance, the CNMI government is also requesting for public assistance protective measures, Department of Defense strategic airlift, among others.

Super typhoon Hagibis is expected to pass near Anatahan tonight.

According to NWS meteorologist Chip Guard, the super typhoon was intensifying faster than expected and could possibly become a Category 4 or 5 typhoon.

According to NWS, at 4 p.m. Hagibis was centered 165 miles east of Saipan near 15.5N 148.2E moving west-northwest at 15 mph with maximum sustained winds now at 150 mph with gusts up to 185 mph.