Global & Disaster Medicine

Hagibis: Cat. 5: FEMA Region IX (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands)

Impacts: Safety and Security: • CNMI: Schools and government offices closed (FEMA Region IX Update) • CNMI: People in tents from Yutu have transitioned into shelters; Fire and Medical Services assisted residents in breaking down tents and securing personal belongings (DFEMS Website) Food, Water, Shelter: • Saipan: o Water system restoration concurrent with electrical restoration (FEMA Region IX) o Precautionary “Boil Water” notice has been issue per CNMI Bureau of Environmental Quality (BECQ) policy o 7 of 14 tanks meet chloritization levels the remainder are being chlorinated by crews (FEMA Region IX) • Shelters: Saipan: 3 (-10) shelters open with 166 (-296) occupants (FEMA Region IX) Health and Medical: • Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation: well stocked and prepared with generator fuel topped off with 2-weeks supply; water tanks also have 2-weeks supply (CHCC Website) Transportation: • Road: Department of Public Works continued to clear drainage areas as long as possible to minimize impacts • Air:  All Airports returned to Normal Operations • Sea:  Saipan and Guam: Port Condition WHISKEY (Open with restrictions) (FEMA Region IX)

Energy: • Saipan: Island wide power outage re-energization on-going; USACE mission assigned to support power restoration (FEMA Region IX) Response • CNMI EOC at Full Activation; Governor declared a state of emergency o FEMA-3424-EM-CNMI approved • Guam EOC returned to Normal Operations • Region IX IMAT-2 deployed to Saipan • Region IX Movement Control Center activated • Bothell MERS in Guam – awaiting forward movement • CNMI Long Term Recovery Office is closed until after the storm passes • FEMA ISB teams enroute to Guam • NWC and Region IX RWC remains at Steady State, continues to monitor


Political Status

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) emerged from the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI) which the United States administered on behalf of the United Nations from 1947 until Palau, the last member of the TTPI to choose its own political future, became an independent country 1994. The Federal law (the Covenant) making the CNMI a U.S. territory passed in 1975. The CNMI adopted its constitution in 1977, and its first constitutional government took office in 1978. The CNMI came under Federal minimum wage regulations in 2007 and immigration law in 2008. In June 2009, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security takes over the CNMI’s immigration and border controls.

Population & Demography

Population: 52,300 (2015)
Pacific Islanders: 34.9% (2010 census)
Chamorro: 23.9%
Carolinian: 4.6%
Asian: 49.9%
Filipino: 35.3%
White: 2.1%
Median age: 32.5 years
U.S. median age: 36.7 years

Labor Force & Employment

Total civilian labor force: 27,949 (2010 census)
Total employment: 24,826
Unemployed: 3,123
Private sector wage & salary workers: 19,092,
Government workers: 5,313
Self-employed: 421
Private sector employment as a % of total: 76.9
Government employment as a % of total: 21.4
Self-employed as a % of total: 1.7
Unemployment rate: 8.1%

Economy & Income Sources

GDP: $922 million (BEA 2015)
Per capita GDP: $17,629
Total population: 52,300 (2015)

530,671 tourists in 2016
506,846 tourists in 2005
528,608 tourists in 2000
Japanese tourists: 11.7 percent of total (FY 2016)
Korean tourists: 37.9 percent of total

Wholesale and retail trade
Hotels and restaurants
Tourist and recreational services
Government services

Government Finances

Total revenues: $274.2 million (FY 2015)
Total spending: $288.1 million
Federal grants: $72.0 million


Located just north of Guam, the CNMI is a three-hundred mile archipelago consisting of 14 islands, with a total land area of 183.5 square miles. The principal inhabited islands are Saipan, Rota and Tinian. The northern, largely uninhabited islands are Farallon de Medinilla, Anatahan, Sariguan, Gudgeon, Alamagan, Pagan, Agrihan, Asuncion, Maug Islands, and Farallon de Pajaro. Saipan is 3,300 miles from Honolulu; 5,625 from San Francisco; 1,272 miles from Tokyo; and 3,090 miles from Sydney.

The Mariana Islands are on the edge of the Philippine Plate. They were formed by underwater volcanoes along the Marianas Trench. The northern islands are high volcanic islands and the southern islands are raised limestone.

Anatahan is currently an active volcano with the first recorded volcanic eruption on May 10, 2003.

Visit the Anatahan Volcano home page.


The U.S. citizen population of the Northern Marianas is predominantly of Chamorro cultural extraction, although a number of Carolinians (Chuukese, Kosraeans, Pohnpeians and Yapese) and immigrants from other areas of East Asia and Micronesia have also settled in the islands. English is the official language of the CNMI, but Chamorro and Carolinian are the spoken native tongues. The Spanish culture, which influenced the Chamorro culture for nearly four centuries, is still present today. Japanese is also spoken in many of the hotels and shops, reflecting the heavy tourism industry. The non-citizen population is made up primarily of Filipino and Chinese, with some representation from several other Asian countries.


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