‘All Clear’ for Rota

Saipan and Tinian still under TC1
Posted on Oct 09 2019

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The newly-built Seafaring Traditions Canoe House of the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs’ Commonwealth Council for Arts and Culture in Susupe was no match to the strong gusts from a distant Super Typhoon Hagibis. (Iva Maurin)

Super Typhoon Hagibis focused much of its ferocity on the largely uninhabited Northern Islands very early Tuesday morning, grazing Anatahan Island before heading off on its destructive path toward Japan and leaving the CNMI without the destruction wrought by Super Typhoon Yutu nearly a year ago.

According to the National Weather Service in Tiyan, Guam, Hagibis made its closest point of approach to Anatahan Island around 1am yesterday morning. The eye itself passed just south of the island with the eyewall of wind and torrential rainfall directly passing over the island.

Hagibis may have already passed the CNMI by 5:30pm yesterday but only Rota has been given the “All Clear” signal. Saipan and Tinian’s Typhoon Condition 1 readings have been cancelled, while Alamagan and Pagan are under Typhoon Condition 1, and Agrihan is still under Tropical Storm Condition 1. The “All Clear” declaration for Saipan and Tinian was expected to be declared by 8pm yesterday, should Hagibis continue to move away from the CNMI.

Hagibis’ strongest winds of 160 miles per hour hit the CNMI at midnight to the early morning hours yesterday; however, the National Weather Service in Guam and the CNMI Emergency Operations Center said that winds of up to 155 mph were expected to continue throughout the day and subside by yesterday night or early this morning.

As of 5:30pm yesterday, Super Typhoon Hagibis was 275 miles northwest of Saipan, 270 miles northwest of Tinian, 305 miles north-northwest of Rota, 325 miles north-northwest of Guam, 215 miles west-southwest of Agrihan, 210 miles west of Pagan, and 215 miles west of Alamagan. Hagibis is currently moving northwest at 15 mph and is expected to make a turn toward the northwest with a decrease in forward speed by today, Wednesday.

Hagibis is a Tagalog term that means “swiftness.”

Govt offices to reopen today

In anticipation of the “All Clear” to be declared, the administration of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres announced that government offices will reopen today, Oct. 9, 2019, and normal operations will resume.

“Governor Torres and I sincerely thank each and every first responder for their service these last few days, and we also thank every resident for staying informed through our updates and bulletins. We will be assessing our damages these next few days, so please report any damage accordingly,” said acting governor Arnold I. Palacios in a statement.

Torres is currently off-island in Hawaii for prescheduled meetings with the U.S. Department of Defense.

PSS classes for Saipan and Tinian cancelled today, Rota back to normal

PSS classes on Saipan and Tinian remain cancelled today, but employees who work at PSS offices are required to report for work today. Rota will resume classes and PSS office hours today. Saipan Community School announced that it will be resuming regular classes and office hours today.

NMC resumes classes today

The Northern Marianas College announced that it will be resuming regular office hours and classes today. Students are advised to communicate with instructors or supervisors regarding any scheduling changes. NMC asks everyone to extend additional flexibility to help students and employees who need additional time or assistance with typhoon recovery.

CHCC opens hemodialysis and chemotherapy units, no facility damages

The Commonwealth Health Care Corp.’s hemodialysis and chemotherapy units opened yesterday. Hemodialysis patients will be contacted by a hemodialysis staff to reschedule treatment. All CHCC administrative offices and clinical services, Women’s Clinic, Children’s Clinic, Family Care Clinic, WIC Clinic, Dental Clinic, and Physical Therapy remained closed yesterday. Saipan Tribune learned that the Commonwealth Health Center sustained no damage from the typhoon, but is still doing facility assessments. Saipan Tribune also learned that there were no deliveries yesterday.

PSS provides update on shelters

As of 6pm yesterday, PSS reported the number of occupants in its respective evacuation shelters. Marianas High School had 73 individuals (consisting of 14 families) and Kagman High School had 75 (consisting of 20 families). Dandan Head Start closed at 9am, while San Vicente Elementary School closed its shelter at 3pm, Chalan Kanoa Head Start, Tanapag Middle School, and Koblerville Elementary School closed at 5pm, and, Tinian Elementary School closed its shelter at 6pm yesterday. Certain shelters are relocating families to the Saipan Aging Center.

Marine advisory

A high surf advisory remains in effect until 6pm yesterday and a high surf advisory is in effect from 6pm yesterday until 10am on Friday. A high surf advisory means that high surf will affect beaches, producing localized beach erosion and dangerous swimming conditions. The public and inexperienced mariners, especially those operating smaller vessels, are advised to avoid sailing in these conditions.

Commonwealth Ports Authority personnel remove debris in the premises of the main exit of the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport yesterday morning. No damage has been reported at the airport after Super Typhoon Hagibis passed north of Saipan yesterday at midnight. (Ferdie de la Torre)

Marc Venus | Reporter
Marc Venus is the Saipan Tribune's public health and education reporter. He has an associate degree in Applied Sciences in Computer Applications and is working on his bachelor’s degree at the Northern Marianas College. Contact him at marc_venus@saipantribune.com.

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