People in NI safe after Jebi

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Rock formations on the east side of Pagan look like buttresses on a cathedral. (Bea Cabrera)

Northern Islands Mayor Vicente B. Santos has assured that people on the Northern Islands of Alamagan, Pagan, and Agrihan are safe, soon after Super Typhoon Jebi threaded its way through the region on its way to Japan.

“The people in the Northern Islands are safe and all infrastructure are intact despite of the reported intensity of Typhoon Jebi,” said Santos.

“The damage that [Super] Typhoon Jebi caused the islands was flooding because of the heavy and long downpour but, after communication last Friday at 3pm and assessment with the people who are there, everyone is safe,” Santos added.

According to weather.com, Super Typhoon Jebi, a Category 4 powerhouse, was the planet’s most intense tropical cyclone of 2018 and is now setting its sights on Japan, though not at its current intensity. Typhoon Condition 1 was briefly hoisted over the three islands.

Citing a U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center report, weather.com said that Jebi strengthened from a tropical storm to the equivalent of a Category 5 super typhoon, gaining 110 mph of estimated maximum sustained wind speed in just over 48 hours from Wednesday morning through Friday afternoon.

Jebi raked Pagan, Alamagan, and Agrihan in the Northern Mariana Islands with wind gusts over 100 mph, according to the National Weather Service in Guam.

This comes two weeks after Typhoon Cimaron hit the Northern Islands.

According to Santos, he plans to go up there as soon as he gets the go-signal from the CNMI Homeland Security and Emergency Management Center to re-stock supplies on the islands.

“We plan to go on a trip ,hopefully next week, when we are told that waters are calm and safe travel to the Northern Islands is viable. Tomorrow, I have a meeting with Homeland Security because, aside from getting travel permission they also have supplies allotted for the people of the Northern Islands,” Santos said.

“This is the same with American Red Cross, as they have supplies that are awaiting to be transported to provide relief for the people on the islands. Once everything is coordinated, we will bring these contingencies up there,” Santos added.

Currently, there are four residents on Alamagan, 16 on Pagan, and six on Agrihan. “There were more residents during the summer, but since school started, the children are back on Saipan to continue their studies. There were a total of eight children who spent their summer in the Northern Islands and we brought them back to Saipan before school started,” he said.

“To date, there are more people who want to go and live in the Northern Islands. We are happy about this. We welcome their interest in going back and we encourage them to coordinate with the Northern Islands Mayor’s office,” 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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