Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 20 Apr 2019 12am

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    Friday, April 19, 2019-11:21:57A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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‘Thank God there were no casualties’

NO casualties were reported even though Typhoon Dolphin was, at one point, only 20 miles away from Rota, but it did cause significant damage to property and agricultural crops on Rota, Sen. Teresita Santos said on Sunday.

She was thankful that no one was hurt during the typhoon which approached the Marianas over the weekend.

“The winds pounded Rota for several hours, and the typhoon caused indescribable damage to property and agricultural crops.

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A tree fell on a Toyota mini-van parked outside Payless Shoe Store as Typhoon Dolphin approached the Marianas on Friday afternoon.  Photo by Emmanuel T. EredianoA tree fell on a Toyota mini-van parked outside Payless Shoe Store as Typhoon Dolphin approached the Marianas on Friday afternoon. Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano
Residents and tourists cast their fishing lines at Smiling Cove Marina on Saturday. Photo by Raquel C. BagnolResidents and tourists cast their fishing lines at Smiling Cove Marina on Saturday. Photo by Raquel C. Bagnol
Typhoon Dolphin uproots a tree at American Memorial Park. Photo by Raquel C. BagnolTyphoon Dolphin uproots a tree at American Memorial Park. Photo by Raquel C. Bagnol
A power pole in Garapan goes down amid strong typhoon winds on Saturday.  Photo by Wendell M. PosadasA power pole in Garapan goes down amid strong typhoon winds on Saturday. Photo by Wendell M. Posadas
A photo taken on Rota, Saturday.  Courtesy of the CNMI Office of the GovernorA photo taken on Rota, Saturday. Courtesy of the CNMI Office of the Governor
A photo taken on Rota, Saturday.  Courtesy of the CNMI Office of the GovernorA photo taken on Rota, Saturday. Courtesy of the CNMI Office of the Governor
A photo taken on Rota, Saturday.  Courtesy of the CNMI Office of the GovernorA photo taken on Rota, Saturday. Courtesy of the CNMI Office of the Governor

“Thank God there were no casualties considering the strength of the storm.

“I trust that the post-typhoon assessment report will accurately reflect the damage incurred as a result of that monstrous storm that greatly affected our people on Rota.”

Santos said it will take time for the island to rebuild.

“We ask everyone to keep our people in their prayers as they go through this difficult time,” she added.

Some areas on Rota still had no power on Sunday.

“The power poles are down,” Rota Mayor Efraim M. Atalig said, adding that they have prioritized restoring power at the Rota Health Center.

As of press time on Sunday, 60 percent of the power had been restored.

Portions of Sinapalo village 2 and 3 had no power while power in Sinapalo 1 had been completely restored.

Atalig said his office started island-wide debris removal operations on Saturday, adding that they have to clear the roads of debris to provide smooth access to Commonwealth Utilities Corp. personnel in the power restoration effort.

“We have cleared at least 70 percent of the roads,” he said.

CUC public information officer Brad Ruszala said they have deployed four personnel to Rota.

Aside from CUC, military engineers and Red Cross volunteers also arrived on Rota to extend their assistance.

According to the mayor, 19 individuals sought shelter at the Aging Center in Sinapalo during the typhoon.

“There were no reported injuries,” he added.

Rep. Glenn Maratita said the report indicated major damage to crops and livestock.

“In general, Rota is the most devastated island because of Typhoon Dolphin,” he added.

Sen. Steve Mesngon said Songsong bore the brunt of the typhoon.

Luis John Castro, the administration’s public information specialist, said Lt. Gov. Ralph Torres went to Rota to make sure that everybody there is doing fine.

Marvin Seman, special assistant for Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office, in a separate phone interview, said he was on Rota to conduct an assessment of the damage.

Tinian

As a result of Typhoon Dolphin, the Tinian Emergency Operations Center spearheaded by Mayor Joey P. San Nicolas was activated prior to the storm, during the storm, and is currently in the process of assessing damage on the island, a media release from his office stated.

As a result of the typhoon, schools and government departments and agencies were closed on May 15, 2015. All flights at the Tinian airport were suspended at approximately 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 14.

The primary typhoon shelter located at Tinian Elementary School was opened and accommodated a total of 24 individuals that were evacuated to the shelter. The American Red Cross provided food to these individuals.

Areas in Marpo Heights, Carolinas Heights, and Marpo Valley were without power since 2:30 p.m. on Friday, May 15, due to downed power lines and transformers. Power was scheduled to be back on by 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 16.

Damage assessment is currently underway with the help of first responders, members of the Tinian Emergency Operations Center, and American Red Cross volunteers.

The Municipality of Tinian through its central government departments — the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Public Works, the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Tinian Health Center and the Public School System — have responded by clearing roads, evacuating families to the shelters, assisting CUC with downed lines, public announcement, etc. The municipal government, through the mayor’s office, assisted with road clearing, damage assessments and dissemination of information. DPW was dispatched 24 times to clear roads and remove debris to maintain safety

“We are grateful for the collaboration between our local agencies and partners, as well as our CNMI Emergency Operations Center in Saipan,” Mayor Joey P. San Nicolas said. “Un Sen Dangkulu Na Si Yu’us Ma’ase, Salamat Po, and Thank You to all that were involved and are still working after the storm.”

All clear

The governor declared an all-clear condition for Saipan, Tinian and Rota at 8 a.m. on Saturday.

A total of 263 individuals were temporarily housed in the emergency shelters during the typhoon.

Ten shelters were activated and these included Tanapag Elementary School, Garapan Elementary School, Koblerville Elementary, Dandan Middle School, San Vicente Elementary, Kagman High School, Marianas High School, Tinian Elementary School, Dr. Rita Inos Jr./Sr. High School and the Rota Aging Center.

At the height of the typhoon, power lines were reported down near Char’s Market on Beach Road and in Chalan Kanoa across from the post office. Fallen trees were also reported in the Coral Ocean Point area leading to the airport as well as northbound from the former La Fiesta and in Gualo Rai on Earhart Street.

(With Junhan B. Todino)