20 May 2005

Northern Marianas governor declares state of emergency and takes over power provider

12:28 pm on 20 May 2005

The governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands has declared a state of emergency and assumed control of the main power utility.

The Saipan Tribune newspaper reports the governor, Juan Babauta, assumed control of the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation for up to 90 days.

Mr Babauta says there's an immediate emergency arising from the corporation's failure to pay Mobil Oil Marianas for fuel.

The administration plans to hire the former American Samoa Power Authority chief, Utu Abe Malae, as it addresses the power problem.