Supertyphoon Hagibis

Overnight from 07-08 October, 2019, Supertyphoon Hagibis struck Saipan – less than one year after Supertypoon Yutu.

I shot some videos. Please forgive my poor video skills. I’m versed in still photography, but really bad at video. You can find all my Hagibis videos on my YouTube channel.

Let’s start with 6:12 pm on 07 Oct. The eye of Hagibis was just east of due north from Saipan, so the cyclonic winds and heavy rains were hammering southern exposures – winds from the north.

There were some respites from heavy winds (down to 50-ish mph with 70-ish mph gusts) and rainfall as Hagibis tracked to due north of Saipan. Moments with very little wind and precip. But that wasn’t going to last. By 11:00 pm 07 Oct. its eye was somewhere around 920 mb and less than 90 miles from Garapan with wind gusts certainly nearing 100 mph. Winds had completely shifted as the eye tracked WNW and moved a bit farther away from Saipan at roughly 16 mph.

The thing to note here is how water ran along the entire underside of the concrete roof and violently blew off parallel to the ground! Just absolutely crazy.

The heavy rain sheeting with cat-4 or cat-5 equivalent winds pounded northern exposures (wind howling from the south) for 6-7 straight hours. Here we can see Supertyphoon Hagibis at its strongest. At the end of this video, is exactly the moment power went out in Garapan, 12:18 am 08 October 2019.

I really feel for all those still living in FEMA Alaska tents from Supertyphoon Yutu one year ago. The tropical heat combined with the high humidity that causes 100+°F RealFeel temperatures. The tents weigh 140 pounds and are rated to 120 mph, but I also know that not all were installed properly.


Lastly, I keep trying to work on helping the CNMI. With job creation, social justice, disaster recovery, extreme climate change mitigation, and policy. It’s nearly three years I’ve lived here and I can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different result, we all know what that’s the definition of.

Below is my proposal to Accelerate Typhoon Recovery. It’s rather simple. But it’s not.

Keep money local. Support local. Buy local.

Basically, when FEMA buys generators from the U.S. and ships them here, that money to purchase them disappears from the CNMI forever. That generator costs $900 and provides $900 worth of value. But if it were purchased locally, at least one-third of that money would recirculate through our economy – creating greater value for each FEMA dollar spent.

If some significant philanthropist, like Tan Siu Lin Foundation, wished to organize volunteers to help accelerate recovery… Jerry Tan and Merlie Tolentino?

Every $1 spent could equal 6X or $6 in performance value:

  • $1 to local resident to buy critical and essential needs
  • $1 towards recovery action, like clearing debris
  • $1 to CNMI government, since they have a 25% match on FEMA funding
  • $1 to local business to supply or sell goods & services
  • $2 from capturing the money within the localized economy and having it recycle through multiple times. The residual performance of keeping money local.

Here’s my full 9-page Supertyphoon Hagibis Recovery Proposal.

If anybody wants to contact me, I always make myself available.

Hagibis Recovery final




david Saipan