Pagan volcanic activity reported; residents evacuated

Pagan Island (File photo from Save Pagan Island)

Pagan residents have reported tremors and volcanic smoke which raised concerns about the current residents on the island.

The residents were evacuated, CNMI Governor Ralph DLG Torres told NewsTalk K57’s Patti Arroyo, and are reported to be heading back to the island today.

On Thursday afternoon, Governor Torres announced that the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) are coordinating an evacuation of residents on the island of Pagan as a precautionary measure.

“Under the advisement of HSEM and our federal partners close to the situation, we are sending out a DPS boating team to Pagan to safely evacuate the residents on the island as we continue to monitor volcanic activity in our region. The safety and protection of our residents are a paramount priority, and we will continue to work closely with USGS on next steps forward,” said Governor Torres.

DPS deployed two boats to Pagan to conduct the evacuation of 14 residents.

The Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management remains in constant and consistent communication with residents on Pagan via radio.

In 1981 a major volcanic eruption occurred on Pagan that resulted in the evacuation of the entire population.