Gov. Inos S. Eloy has directed all CNMI departments to “streamline” the release of information regarding the ongoing relief and recovery efforts to prevent confusion.
This in light of confusion last week in the distribution of relief goods and assistance. One particular incident involved some 2,000 residents trooping to the local chapter of the American Red Cross. Some in crowd reportedly fought with each other, and grew angry as they waited for relief goods.
The first day of relief operations last week also saw thousands of residents queuing up for hours before receiving aid.
According to press secretary Ivan Blanco, what the governor wants is that “during emergencies or disasters, and in order to get the right message out, a Joint Information Center is created to include a streamlined flow of information from one authoritative source only.”
All information will now be coursed through the CNMI-JIC.
Blanco, who is also the coordinator of the JIC, said “this also means information from the federal partners—the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Small Business Administration, Joint Region Marianas, etc.—must release their information, notices, announcements through the JIC.”
“As we can see from the last experiences, people received unsubstantiated information ‘off the street’ and not from the JIC and ended up heading to the airport and the DRC in crowds, which posed danger both for public safety officers and the general public,” he said.