admin's picture

HAGATNA, Guam (October 26, 1998 - Marianas Variety)---Civil Defense has been meeting with fire, environmental, hydraulic engineering and debris management experts to discuss the most cost-effective and efficient methods to extinguish the fire that continues to burn underground in the Malojloj hardfill.

Smothering the fire and separating the debris do not appear to be effective techniques to put the blaze out, according to authorities.

Neither was the intermittent dousing with water, which actually seemed to clear oxygen paths to the fire.

Resource experts, therefore, have agreed to try to stop the oxygen flow to the fire by completely saturating the ground with water.

Debris management and fire experts, on the other hand, say that 15,000 gallons of water per hour, 24 hours a day, would achieve the desired saturation of the hardfill.

Grace O. Garces, public information officer of the task force working on the hardfill, said the Government of Guam plans to build a permanent water supply system from Talofofo Bay to the hardfill in the next weeks.

Until then, the Guam Fire Department will continue to use three tankers that have been pulling water from nearby rivers. A Navy Public Works Center tanker will augment GFD's water supply, Garces said.

In the long term, Garces said the Incident Commander is also considering reactivating a nearby water well whose booster pump and chlorinator are broken.

The Incident Command's priority was the safety and welfare of the nearby residents of the hardfill. GovGuam has taken the necessary steps to do that by giving the residents the option of relocating temporarily to a hotel in Hagatna. Right now, there are 27 people staying at the Cliff Hotel, said Garces.

GovGuam continues to advise residents with medical conditions to limit their exposure to the area. Residents still have an opportunity to seek medical attention by registering with the Command Post staff in the Malojloj mayor's office, according to Garces.

The Southern Public Health clinic has returned to normal hours of operation, Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The clinic will open on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

For additional reports from the Marianas Variety, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Marianas Variety.

Rate this article: 
Average: 2 (1 vote)

Add new comment