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Six months to clear typhoon debris

Tuesday 25 August 2015 | Published in Regional


SAIPAN – The effects of a cyclone remain long after the event stops making news headlines. One of the most unattractive post-cyclone duties involveS the basic but arduous task of cleaning of the mess.

In Saipan in the Northern Marians Typhoon Soudelor has left an estimated 170,000 cubic metres of debris, according to the mayor’s field operation director, Joann Aquino.

Aquino, who recently attended a briefing by US army engineers, said she was told that it will take six months to get rid of all the typhoon rubbish.

Almost 24 days after Typhoon Soudelor battered Saipan, residential areas and secondary roads around the island are still littered with debris.

However, the island’s main roads are nearly cleared with the priority being to provide access to utility linemen to repair fallen power poles.

As part of the working group with the Emergency Operation Centre, Aquino said the mayor’s office has been tasked to conduct debris-cleanup operations.

Due to many requests for debris removal from residents, the mayor’s office is advising residents to segregate the debris by type for efficiency of disposal.

Another less headline grabbing affect of a cyclone is the damage done to island wildlife.

Typhoon Soudelor has destroyed the nests and the natural habitats of many animals and birds.

Over 65 per cent of nesting bird species on island were affected by the loss of nests, according to the Department of Land and Natural Resources Secretary Richard B. Seman.

Aside from birds, protected species such as fruit bats are also affected and were left devastated by the typhoon.