‘Swells flood Rota East Harbor’

DPL Secretary Santos says East Harbor cannot be used as temporary port of entry

Large swells brought by Typhoon Mawar cause flooding at the Rota East Harbor as seen in this screen grab from a video circulating on Facebook yesterday afternoon. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

The Rota East Harbor was flooded yesterday afternoon due to large swells brought by the outer bands of Typhoon Mawar that, although has weakened slightly from a Category 5 typhoon, is still powerful at 140 mph as it passed just a little north of nearby Guam.

This situation at the Rota East Harbor, which is also known as the Rota East Dock, was confirmed by both Sen. Paul A. Manglona (Ind-Rota) and Department of Public Lands Secretary Teresita A. Santos.

In response to Saipan Tribune’s inquiry as to the situation on Rota, Manglona said the water at the East Harbor is usually at least 10 feet below harbor level.

Manglona, who is currently on Saipan, attended a pre-landfall typhoon briefing with Gov. Arnold I. Palacios and Lt. Gov. David M. Apatang at the Emergency Operations Center in Capital Hill yesterday at 10am.

Rep. Julie A. Ogo (Ind-Rota), who also attended the typhoon briefing, said that Rota residents are hunkering down and are well prepared for the storm.

“Unfortunately, I am stuck here [on] Saipan,” Ogo said.

The Rota East Harbor. Video courtesy of DJ Narro.


Sen. Donald M. Manglona (Ind-Rota), who also attended the typhoon briefing, has yet to respond to Saipan Tribune’s request for updates as of press time.

Santos, who is a resident of Rota, said she’s currently on Saipan, but based on what she is seeing in Facebook photos and videos, a strong typhoon surge and strong swells have inundated the Rota East Harbor.

“I pray the water does not come into the land,” Santos said.

The East Harbor is designated as a water sports recreational area. Santos said, however, that it has not been certified as a port of entry for commercial or smaller vessels to deliver or download goods.

During inclement weather, the mayor of Rota can request from the governor or from DPL for the temporary use of the Rota East Harbor for smaller vessels to enter for the purpose of delivering goods.

“With these photos though, it’s impossible for the harbor to be used as an alternate port of entry when the water floods the same,” Santos said.

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 ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com
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