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Wednesday, October 04, 2023

Typhoon Mawar


MAYOR Aubry Hocog said in an interview on Thursday that there were no injuries, casualties, or major damage reported on Rota, despite Super Typhoon Mawar's 140 mph winds.

“We are very blessed,” she added. Based on the preliminary assessment, “We had some fallen trees and other debris that were blocking road access. We immediately cleared that to ensure that our emergency personnel would be able to transport any of our Rota residents to the hospital if need be.”

She said they have been closely working with the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. so “access to water is available now. Also, CUC is offering up to 50 gallons of water for every family to utilize but has issued a boil water notice. The power division will be mobilized once the ‘all clear’ signal has been issued to focus on restoring power to the island."

As of 4 p.m. Thursday, the mayor said they had “21 people sheltered [at the Office on Aging] who are just awaiting the ‘all clear’ signal to be issued to return home.”

She added, “We have [Department of Public Works] personnel out [there] clearing the secondary roads for residents to be able to move freely. The port of entry is our main priority…. [The Commonwealth Ports Authority] is awaiting the signal so that authorized personnel will be allowed on-site to assist with the debris removal. This way, we can anticipate the arrival of supplies and equipment needed that will be utilized towards our recovery efforts.”

Hocog said Rota is “so grateful to our Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, Lt. Gov. David M. Apatang, [CNMI Homeland Security and Emergency Management Special Assistant Franklin] Babauta, all the government departments, autonomous agencies, private sector and federal partners for their support and assistance in ensuring that our people will get all needed resources to be able to begin our recovery phase from this super typhoon.”

At the same time, Rota is sending “our prayers and support to our brothers and sisters on the neighboring island of Guam as they too will be recovering from Super Typhoon Mawar. There were more reports of damage and flooding on their island. We know our people will come together and share resources and support and we are very fortunate that our federal partners are ready to assist however they can.”

In a separate interview, Rota Municipal Council Chairman Jim Atalig said his house was damaged by the typhoon and some power poles were taken down by the strong winds, but he is grateful that his family and friends were fine.

“For eight hours straight the wind was blowing so hard,” he added.

For his part, American Red Cross-NMI Chapter Executive Director John Hirsh said they will send their responders to Rota hopefully today, Friday, May 26 or when the first charter flight to the island will be available.

He said the Red Cross will also ship essential supplies to help the residents of Rota. These include bottles of water, emergency medical kits, hygiene kits and cleaning kits to name a few.

[Submitted by Robert Mendiola]

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Robert Mendiola

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