FEMA Continues to Support CNMI’s Yutu Recovery

Release Date Release Number
Release Date:
December 2, 2020

OAKLAND, Calif. ― Two years ago, Super Typhoon Yutu – the strongest storm of 2018, with sustained winds of 175 mph – directly hit the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). Yutu destroyed critical infrastructure and countless homes on Saipan and Tinian, injured at least 133 and took the lives of two residents.

After such an unprecedented event, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) established a long-term recovery office in Saipan to partner with local, territorial and federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, the private sector and volunteers to build housing, fund school and infrastructure repairs, and support rebuilding safer and stronger.

A top priority for CNMI and FEMA was to rebuild using methods and materials that can withstand future typhoon and disaster threats. To date, FEMA’s permanent housing construction program has built or repaired typhoon-resistant homes for 102 families. New homes finished through the program incorporate reinforced concrete foundations, walls and roofs. FEMA continues construction and repair work to help another 200 families.

The CNMI also prioritized rebuilding Yutu-damaged schools. FEMA has approved over $45 million to the CNMI Public School System, including recent approvals of $22.6 million for Hopwood Middle School and $2 million for Oleai Elementary School. New school buildings will also include reinforced concrete foundations, walls and roofs to protect the buildings from future storm damage.

As recovery continues, FEMA expects to invest more than $80 million through its Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to fund projects that reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to life and property from future hazards like wind, flooding and other threats. Collectively, we are vested in and committed to CNMI’s long-term recovery plan to restore a functioning, healthy economy, improve infrastructure, expand housing, address environmental considerations, and make CNMI more resistant to future disasters.


FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters. Follow FEMA Region 9 online at twitter.com/femaregion9 or view more news releases at fema.gov/fema-regions/region-ix.

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