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SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, April 2) – Tropical Storm Kong-Rey 01W was expected to hit Rota at about 2 p.m. today, according to the Emergency Management Office.

The weather forecast chart released by EMO yesterday showed the center of the storm approaching Rota with winds of 90 mph.

Tropical storm condition 3 was declared for the island of Rota, and a typhoon watch was declared for Saipan and Tinian as of 5 p.m.

The storm was expected to intensify and could become a typhoon by this morning.

As of yesterday, Kong-Rey 01W was moving northwest at 16 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds at 50 mph as it moved toward the Marianas.

EMO Director Gregorio A. Deleon Guerrero, in a telephone interview, said most government agencies have readied emergency response plans.

At 4 p.m. yesterday, the center of the storm was located about 545 miles southeast of Tinian and Saipan, and 540 miles east of Rota.

The advisory stated that Gov. Benigno R. Fitial is advising residents to review their disaster preparedness plans and check emergency supplies of food and water.

The public is advised to secure outside furniture and other loose objects in yards, fill vehicles with gas, gather containers for drinking water storage, prepare bathtubs for water storage, and check supplies of medications.

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