CNMI SEEKS TO EXTEND VOLCANO EMERGENCY

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Anatahan warning continuous since 2003 eruption

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 2, 2009) – The Northern Marianas Emergency Management Office has asked the governor to extend for another 30 days the Anatahan state of disaster emergency declaration, which expired last week.

Governor Benigno Fitial is expected to renew the latest emergency declaration, which was originally signed six years ago when Anatahan volcano erupted in 2003.

No one was directly threatened by the initial strong explosive activity, because residents had long evacuated the small volcanic island.

But it spewed out clouds of ashes that reached Philippines jurisdiction

The declaration bans travels to the island except for scientific expeditions, and says that Anatahan remains unsafe for human habitation.

The deputy special assistant for the Emergency Management Office, Joaquin Omar, says the volcano appears to have entered a quiescent period.

But he says it is still possible for more activity, including gas and ash emissions, to resume at any time with little or no warning.

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