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Residents prepared for worst as storm misses islands

By Jose Cepeda III Pacific Sunday News

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (August 5, 2001 – Pacific Daily News)---A storm that is now a typhoon no longer threatens the Mariana Islands.

Typhoon Man-Yi slid by the northern islands of Agrihan, Alamagan and Anatahan yesterday.

The three islands were cleared from typhoon watch yesterday and officials there reported no injuries or damage to their islands, said Greg Deleon Guerrero, director of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Emergency Management Office on Saipan.

The typhoon was about 350 miles north of Saipan, near latitude 20.1 degrees and longitude 144.9 degrees, said National Weather Service meteorologist Ernie Jillson, citing the service's final tropical storm statement issued at 2 p.m. yesterday.

At that time, the typhoon was located 350 miles north of Saipan and 100 miles northwest of Agrihan.

Man-Yi grew to typhoon strength Friday morning. A tropical storm becomes a typhoon when maximum sustainable winds reach 74 mph, said Dan Mundell, meteorologist with the weather service.

Man-Yi was expected to continue traveling northwest at 17 mph with maximum winds of 110 mph, Jillson said.

He said gusts of up to 40 mph hit Agrihan yesterday afternoon and were expected to die out late last night.

Deleon Guerrero said the islands are sparsely populated, but residents were prepared for the typhoon. Agrihan has a population of 25 people, Anatahan has 61 people and Alamagan has three people.

"We've made contact with the northern islands and all the islanders are safe," De Leon Guerrero said.

Some residents of Saipan said they were prepared but felt the typhoon would pass the island.

Joe Tudela, 25, of Garapan said he bought candles and canned goods, but said that he and many of his neighbors had not boarded up their windows.

"I didn't think the storm was going to hit, it's only a tropical storm," he said.

For additional reports from the Pacific Daily News, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Pacific Daily News (Guam).

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