CNMI’s Rota In ‘Typhoon Condition 3’ As Dolphin Nears

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CNMI’s Rota In ‘Typhoon Condition 3’ As Dolphin Nears Guam, CNMI prepare for typhoon conditions over the week-end

By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, May 14, 2015) – Rota was in typhoon condition 3 while Saipan and Tinian were placed under a typhoon watch on Wednesday as Gov. Eloy S. Inos asked the public to prepare and be cautious.

Typhoon condition 3 means that typhoon conditions are possible within 24 to 36 hours.

The governor said government offices will remain open, but he urged community members to ensure they have adequate supplies of water and food and to assess their homes if these are susceptible to rains and damage so they can start making plans to seek shelter.

The Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office held a press conference on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at the Emergency Office Center to brief reporters regarding the typhoon.

Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office Special Assistant Marvin Seman said Typhoon Dolphin was expected to hit Guam and Rota by 4 p.m., Friday.

Saipan and Tinian will be under a typhoon warning by Thursday as Dolphin gets closer, he added.

At the same time, Seman said it was hard to track the typhoon because of its uncertain movements.

"It might change course [Wednesday night] but we have most of the day tomorrow [Thursday] to set up everything."

Seman said shelters will be activated once typhoon condition 2 is declared, adding that his office will update its bulletin every hour.

As of 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dolphin continued to intensify and was 695 miles east-southeast of Rota and 695 miles east-southeast of Saipan and Tinian with maximum sustained winds of 85 miles per hour, moving west at 12 miles per hour.

It will continue to intensify in the next few days and is expected to shift its track to the west northwest and maintain this general motion for the next couple days on a track that takes it close Guam and the southern Marianas.

Seman said residents of Saipan, Tinian and Rota should take necessary precautionary measures against gusty strong winds and heavy rain showers.

Residents should secure all loose objects around the house that need to be strapped down, removed or secured to prevent them from being picked up and propelled by strong winds.

Mayor Efraim Atalig is taking the lead in making preparations on Rota and is making sure they have an adequate supply of water and food, Seman said.

For more information or updates, call the Emergency Office Center at 237-8000.

Guam gets ready

On Wednesday at 3 p.m., Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo and Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar jointly declared the island, inclusive of the military bases, in Condition of Readiness 3.

COR 3 means residents on Guam can expect damaging winds between 39 to 57 mph within 48 hours.

The National Weather Service anticipates that Dolphin will come close to Guam and the southern Mariana Islands, possibly passing over southern Guam. Should the storm shift north, Rota can expect to endure stronger winds.

Guam and Rota can expect between 8 to 14 inches of rain on Froiday and Saturday, or more if Dolphin slows down, forecasters said.

Marine conditions have become hazardous and forecasters expect combined seas between 18 and 34 feet tomorrow, which will result in surf between 16 to 24 feet. About 4 to 6 feet of inundation is possible along shores of Guam and Rota.

Guam Homeland Security/Office of Civil Defense recommended that residents secure objects in their yard that might fly with strong winds, gas up vehicles and buy fuel for generators and stock up on batteries, flashlights, candles, nonperishable food ,and water.

Prepare

After NWS officials issued a typhoon watch for Guam and Rota, many on the island took advantage of the clear weather to prepare for the storm.

Tim Ohno, owner of Skydrenaline Zone skydive simulator in Tamuning, said he and the staff took down the flight chamber to store it and secured other items around the chamber to ensure that no debris makes it into the wind generator.

Down the street from Skydrenaline, ITC personnel installed shutters on the first and second floor of the multi-story building.

Pacific Islands Club marketing and public relations manager Trina Cruz said the hotel had begun securing the roof top and storing items inside the facility. The hotel staff also ensured the backup power generator was working and ensured there was enough water for hotel guests, staff and restaurants in case there is a storm.

Cruz said visitors will be notified of the storm conditions and of any changes to the flight schedules. Restaurants inside the hotel will also be open for an extended time to accommodate guests during the storm and activities will be held in the hotel banquet halls for guests.

"We’re doing what we can to make it as comfortable as possible for guests," Cruz said.

Salvation Army Micronesia Coordinator Capt. Mike Lutcher said residents at the Lighthouse recovery home were working to secure the facility in anticipation of the storm. The Salvation Army is part of the Office of Civil Defense’s Emergency Support Function group that will be deployed to help three days after the storm hits, should their assistance be required, Lutcher said. The ESF group’s level of assistance is dependent on the severity of the storm.

Shelters

Also in anticipation of Typhoon Dolphin, storm shelters and locations will be disclosed on Thursday or Friday by the Joint Information Commission as the storm gets closer.

For the latest on Typhoon Dolphin, visit www.weather.gov/guam or follow NWS on Facebook. Guam Homeland Security will also post Joint Information Center statements about Conditions of Readiness and storm shelter information online on its website or Facebook page. For current weather conditions call 211 to listen to an automated reading of weather reports.

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