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SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Feb. 3) – A Rota-bound morning Freedom Air flight was forced to land in Guam yesterday due to zero visibility caused by Anatahan’s volcanic haze and ash that continue to blanket the Northern Marianas.

The commercial flight was carrying, among others, four senators who were to attend the 10:30 a.m. scheduled Rota session. As a result, yesterday’s Senate legislative work was canceled, Senate President Joaquin G. Adriano told Variety.

Variety also learned yesterday that the Emergency Management Office-chartered helicopter that was scheduled to conduct an aerial inspection of Anatahan’s seismic activity yesterday– along with Gov. Juan N. Babauta- was called-off for same reason.

On the Freedom Air flight were Senate Floor Leader Paul A. Manglona (R-Rota), Senate Legislative Secretary Joseph M. Mendiola (Covenant-Tinian), Senator Thomas P. Villagomez (R-Saipan) and Sen. Henry H. San Nicolas (Covenant-Tinian).

Three of the five senators who were in Rota yesterday arrived a day earlier, as the volcanic haze and ash was just starting to spread across the islands.

They were Senate President Adriano, Senate Minority Leader Pete P. Reyes (R-Saipan) and Sen. Luis P. Crisostimo (D-Saipan).

Senate Vice President Diego M. Songao (Covenant-Rota) and Sen. Paterno S. Hocog (Ind.-Rota) were already in Rota.

February 3, 2005

Marianas Variety: www.mvariety.com

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