10 Jul 2002

CNMI prepares for typhoon onslaught

4:48 pm on 10 July 2002

In CNMI, the Disaster and Emergency Office has told villagers in Rota, Tinian and Saipan to seek shelter in schools.

Typhoon Halong is expected to lash Rota and Tinian within the next 24 hours and Saipan, the next 48.

Disaster and Emergency Office Director, Tony Calvo says school buses and schools have been commandeered for use during the typhoon warning.

He says Tinian and Rota have a combined population of 6-thousand and that the only buildings strong enough to withstand typhoon winds are schools.

Mr Calvo says also that the airport services on the three islands are suspended during the typhoon warning.

"all flights leaving or coming into Saipan are cancelled...the schools are mandated to be responsible for shelter and evacuation...the schools are used as temporary shelters...many of our schools are fully concrete structures that can withstand typhoon conditions and the school buses are used transportation of the residents"

Tony Calvo says villagers are advised to take with them to the shelter at least three days supply of food