HUGE CYCLONE SKIRTS NORTH OF SAIPAN

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Severe weather conditions expected in CNMI

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Sept. 15, 2009) – A severe weather warning for the Northern Marianas has been upgraded.

According to the U.S. National Weather Service in Guam, Tropical Storm Choi-Wan has now intensified to become a typhoon.

Its expected to hit the islands of Tinian and Saipan later on Monday night, bringing up to 12 hours damaging winds and heavy rainfall.

[PIR editor’s note: According to weather website Tropical Storm Risk, Choi-Wan by noon today had become a category 4 cyclone, packing winds of more than 150 miles per hour. The storm was located northeast of the Marianas and was expected to head north.]

Dan Mundell, a meteorologist with the US National Weather Service in Guam says the harsh conditions are likely to continue into the week.

"Specifically its going to be Sapain and Tinian [on Monday night] and then the effects will extend further south to Guam and Rota in the Northern Mariana Islands [Tuesday] and Wednesday," he said.

[PIR editor’s note: Meanwhile, according to the Marianas Variety, several commercial aircraft left Saipan and another arrived within hours of the arrival of the cyclone. ]

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