‘People in NI are safe’

This file photo shows the west side of Pagan Island where a Japanese monument stands.
(Bea Cabrera)

The Northern Islands of Alamagan, Pagan, and Agrihan were under Typhoon Condition 1 as of 3pm yesterday due to the passage of Typhoon Cimaron, but Northern Islands Mayor Vicente B. Santos assured that residents of these islands are safe.

Typhoon Condition 1 means residents should expect destructive winds of 74 miles per hour or more within the next 24 hours, but Santos said his office’s last radio communication with the people on the islands was Monday morning “and all the people are safe. Currently, there are four people on Alamagan, 15 on Pagan, and six in Agrihan.”

Communication with the Northern Islands has been suspended to prevent damage to the radio antennas on each island.

“During these weather conditions, radio antennas are put down to prevent loss and damage. We do have scheduled communications so the people there know what time we are going to contact them and vice versa. We have a staff who is monitoring weather conditions [on] the Northern Islands at the Emergency Management Office as we get updates at 8am and at 4pm on Saipan,” he added.

In a separate interview, Nadine Deleon Guerrero of the CNMI Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency external affairs office does not see the distance between Saipan and the Northern Islands as an obstacle to maintain communication and updates.

“We keep in contact with them. We do it twice a day. …We have weather radio where we contact them, just to make sure they are okay or if there’s anything that they need,” she said.

“We usually send help, whether it is Department of Public Safety or Department of Fire and Emergency and Medical Services. Our office coordinates it and then we get them the supplies they need. We have to wait until the worst of the conditions are gone because we don’t want to put our first responders in danger too,” she added.

Santos assured that people on the three islands have enough supplies. “They have water and food as supplies where updated during our trip last week.”

“We have storm shelters on the three islands and residents know what to do when a typhoon with this strength hit the islands,” he added.

Santos assures people on Saipan who have families on Alamagan, Pagan, and Agihan that his office is working hard to give them updates. “It’s a natural instinct to be worried for a loved one and a family member. We understand their concern but we tell them not to worry,” he said.

“Once the radio is back Tuesday or Wednesday, we encourage these people to call the office and we will ask them to come to the office so they can personally talk to their loved ones in the Northern Islands,” he added.

Bea Cabrera
Bea Cabrera, who holds a law degree, also has a bachelor's degree in mass communications. She has been exposed to multiple aspects of mass media, doing sales, marketing, copywriting, and photography.

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