Rota nears ‘boil water notice’—mayor

Island also runs out of propane gas

Rota Mayor Melchor Mendiola said last night that the island is nearing the point wherein residents will be asked to boil their water for health reasons as the chlorine supply used for water treatment “is low.”

Rota remains under a state of emergency as many essential goods and commodities still cannot reach the island by sea cargo due to bad sea and weather conditions.

But because there is no propane gas on Rota right now, the mayor said there is not even propane gas to boil water unless other means of cooking is used like electric stoves and firewood.

“CUC [Commonwealth Utilities Corp.] said they’re on their last reserve of chlorine so we might soon need to issue a notice to residents to boil their water for health reasons. There’s no propane gas now. School food services are also running out of some food supplies because the planes can only carry so much,” he said.

Acting governor Jude U. Hofschneider opened on Saturday Rota’s East Harbor and waived port fees to all vessels entering the island to deliver essential goods to Rota during this time of food and other commodities’ shortage.

Mendiola said it might still take days before any vessel could come in and use the East Harbor but he’s “hoping they will be here soon.”

“We can only pray for now for this to end,” he added.

Rota has been declared under a state of emergency since Feb. 14.

For three months now or since Nov. 18, 2013, Rota has been unable to receive essential goods and commodities as the barges couldn’t enter the West Harbor due to rough seas and bad weather conditions.

Although some goods have been brought into Rota via airplane, including those from the U.S. Department of Defense, not all essential goods and commodities can be brought in without using sea transportation and supplies have “currently been depleted.”

Haidee V. Eugenio | Reporter
Haidee V. Eugenio has covered politics, immigration, business and a host of other news beats as a longtime journalist in the CNMI, and is a recipient of professional awards and commendations, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s environmental achievement award for her environmental reporting. She is a graduate of the University of the Philippines Diliman.

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