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Mayor: Tinian ‘slowly coming back’

TINIAN — Mayor Joey Patrick San Nicolas said the island is slowly returning to normalcy after being devastated by Typhoon Yutu over two weeks ago.

In an interview on Friday, San Nicolas said while they were still working on power restoration, their water was already 100 percent back online.

San Nicolas said they are now waiting for the arrival of about 200 power poles.

“We are still under generator right now. We have eight generators energizing facilities for government and community use. Our Bank of Guam is back online. Our tent program is going on and tents have been provided to the people who lost their homes. Our Mobil gas station is offering 50 percent rebates until December. We are slowly coming back but we still have a long way to go,” the mayor said.

“I am thankful for everybody’s support and prayers, and for all the assistance that is helping us recover quickly.”

All the relief goods and donated supplies have been stored at the Tinian gym which now serves as the island’s warehouse. It is also the municipal government’s point of distribution for all relief assistance.

Jeff Baumgartner, district director for the American Red Cross, said they received various items for distribution to the community such as clothes, blankets, towels, water, cleanup and hygiene kits.

He said they were able to provide tents to the 19 families that stayed at the Tinian Elementary School shelter during the typhoon.

Akhi Akter and her son inside the tent provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Tinian. Photo by Cherrie Anne E. VillahermosaAkhi Akter and her son inside the tent provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Tinian. Photo by Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa

He said the shelter was closed on Friday because the families had already returned to their respective homes.

“We were able to process everybody out of the shelter…so we can reopen the school for the students, and that’s a major phase of recovery, to be able to go back to normalcy,” Baumgartner said.

But he said seven families are still staying at the amphitheater.

Baumgartner said the American Red Cross is distributing 2,200 meals every day for the community.

“We load the food on trucks and deliver it to the houses. The manamko’ are on top of our list and homebound folks.”

Among the food vendors contracted by the American Red Cross is JC’s Café which was also damaged by the typhoon, but its kitchen is  up and running.

Among the those who received relief assistance are Mohammed Fagal Dhali and his wife Akhi Akter. They have two children: a four-year-old girl and a one-year-old boy. The family lost their home and are now staying in a tent big enough for the four of them.

Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield, commander of Joint Region Marianas, said there are over 300 military personnel on Tinian helping with the recovery efforts. These include removing debris, setting up tents and assisting in the relief distribution.

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/108839-mayor-tinian-slowly-coming-back

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