Rota’s seaport not seriously affected by Mangkhut

Ships carrying commodities continue coming in to Rota

A file photo of the commercial seaport on Rota. There was no reported serious damage to the seaport during Typhoon Mangkhut’s destruction to the island last month. (Ferdie de la Torre)

Rota’s seaport was not seriously affected by the destruction brought by Typhoon Mangkhut to the island last month, according to Commonwealth Ports Authority board committee for airport operations chair Barrie C. Toves.

In an interview with Saipan Tribune last week, Toves said right now assessment has been completed by their ports manager about the damage.

He said he has not seen the report yet, but they did send out people out from the Emergency Operations Center to make an initial damage assessment.

Toves was working at the EOC when Typhoon Mangkhut battered the island to coordinate resources for response and recovery.

Toves said the only time they’re concerned was because the U.S. Coast Guard did not immediately clear any vessel to navigate the channel.

He said while they were monitoring the situation at the seaport, Coast Guard inspectors then eventually looked at the harbor to see if there were no major debris that would create any kind of security issues.

“Then it was opened up. That’s how the relief ships were coming in,” said Toves as he commended that the Coast Guard for being “really responsive.”

He said as soon as the typhoon warning was cancelled, the Coast Guard opened up the way for the first emergency relief ship to come in despite that the declaration was not been issued out yet at that time.

Toves said because of the relief effort, they were able to “bend a little” and gave way for Rota to receive that shipment that came in.

He said the seaport is currently doing fine and that in fact recently ships came in to provide shipping of commodities for the commercial operations.

“We’re getting back there. We’re getting back in our feet,” Toves said.

Toves earlier disclosed that the perimeter fences surrounding the Benjamin T. Manglona International Airport on Rota sustained damage from Mangkhut.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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