Evacuees moved from CNMI shelters as schools reopen

2:06 pm on 27 August 2015

Three weeks after Typhoon Soudelor ravaged Saipan, the Northern Marianas' only College has made public the significant damage it sustained.

The Northern Marianas College says there are 18 buildings in different phases of disrepair.

Northern Marianas College

Northern Marianas College Photo: RNZ Mark Rabago

The college president, Dr Sharon Hart, says of the buildings that sustained damage, about four are inoperable, including the gym, which sustained damage to its roof and floor.

However, the College's director of external relations, Frankie Eliptico, says most of the classrooms were spared, and there's a huge effort by staff to return things to normal.

"There's significant damage but we're rebuilding and really made a lot of progress in the last three weeks in terms of getting the campus back to normal. The typhoon had interrupted the summer semester, but we were able to resume the last week of our summer semester this week, and classes are running smoothly."

Frankie Eliptico says the college continues to run on generator power, as city power is still not connected to most of the island.

The fall semester was postponed due to the storm, and is set to begin on September 28.

Meanwhile, schools that were being used as emergency shelters have now been closed in preparation for the start of classes, and more than 200 people still living in shelters have been moved to another facility.

The Saipan Tribune reports that there isn't a scheduled date for when the shelters will close permanently.

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