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Red Cross provides assistance to families affected by Tropical Storm Bavi

(Press Release) — Tropical Storm Bavi passed through the Northern Mariana Islands on the evening of March 15.

The storm had sustained winds of 40 to 50 mph with gusts to 65 mph on Saipan and Tinian. More than 65 homes, primarily constructed of wood and tin were affected by the high winds.

“Most families had damage to their roofs which resulted in rain entering their homes” said Claudine Atalig, Disaster Action Team or DAT member.

The Red Cross quickly provided tarps and cleaning supplies to those families who were impacted.

With the help of volunteers from Guam and Hawaii, local NMI volunteers met with families to do assessments and provided financial assistance to those most affected.

“While the Red Cross can’t completely rebuild homes, we hope that our assistance can provide our residents with a first step on their road to recovery” said John Hirsh, NMI chapter executive.

The Red Cross collaborated with local Emergency Management and identified 5 destroyed homes, 28 with major damage and 24 with minor impact.

With the help of 15 Red Cross volunteers on Saipan and Tinian the Red Cross was able to help 68 families (252 individuals) and provide more than $25,000 in financial and in-kind assistance.

Fundraising events like the recent Walkathon and Club 200 provide the much needed support to provide these services.

“Emergency assistance in the aftermath of storms like Bavi wouldn’t be possible without the compassion and dedication of our volunteers and donors who are the backbone and life blood of the Red Cross” said Paul Camacho, emergency services director.

“The NMI chapter has a legacy of helping those in need and providing hope to families throughout the CNMI. Their humanitarian mission is fulfilled everyday by people in the CNMI community willing to help those in need” said Rock Ahulau, Red Cross disaster cycle services.

For more information about how to volunteer or make a donation to the Red Cross, call 234-3459.