Guam – Apart from traffic congestions leading up to higher ground, evacuation of residents from low-lying areas on Saipan went smoothly in the aftermath of an 8.9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit Japan Friday.
The Department of Public Safety did not get any information about serious incidents on both Tinian and Rota but presumes the evacuation on the two islands also went smooth there.
Press secretary Angel Demapan, meanwhile, said that there was a 2.6 feet change in normal tide levels believed to have been generated by the earthquake in Japan.
Long queues were also observed in grocery stores and gas stations by residents eager to stock up on food supplies and motorists wanting to fill up their gas tanks.
Acting governor Eloy Inos and Delegate Gregorio Kilili Sablan, along with other community members, also offered their prayers for the Japanese people.
The earthquake and tsunami in Japan is also expected to have an immediate negative effect in the CNMI’s tourism industry. The country is the islands’ No. 1 tourism market and following the demise of the garment industry, the visitors’ industry is the Commonwealth only source of livelihood.
Mark Rabago, PNC News, Saipan.