February 26, 2007
THE CNMI EMERGENCY
MANAGEMENT OFFICE, OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR, IN CLOSE CONSULTATION WITH USGS AND
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE, GUAM, GOVERNOR BENIGNO R. FITIAL WOULD
LIKE TO INFORM THE RESIDENTS OF SAIPAN AND TINIAN THAT THE US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
INDICATES ANATAHAN HAS BEEN PUTTING
OUT GAS AND STEAM PLUME SINCE THE ERUPTION. BASED ON LOCAL OBSERVATIONS
OF A SULFUROUS ODOR AND VISIBILITIES OF 6 MILES OR LESS...IT APPEARS THAT
VOLCANIC HAZE HAS MOVED IN TO SAIPAN, TINIAN AND ROTA FROM ANATAHAN ISLAND. LOW
LEVEL WINDS HAVE BEEN SOMEWHAT MORE FROM THE NORTHERLY AND CONTINUES TO CARRY
THE HAZE SOUTHWARD TOWARD SAIPAN, TINIAN AND ROTA.
THE USGS AND NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE COULD NOT DETECT THEM ON EITHER SATELLITE OR RADAR. BASED ON THIS INFORMATION...WE EXPECT THE HAZE TO MOVE OUT OF THE AREA BY LATE THIS EVENING.
CONCENTRATIONS OF VOLCANIC GASES SHOULD BE LOW...BUT THE HAZE AND ODOR MAY BOTHER PEOPLE WITH RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS.
THEREFORE, GOVERNOR BENIGNO R. FITIAL WOULD ALSO LIKE TO INFORM THE GENERAL PUBLIC TO TUNE IN TO LOCAL RADIO BROADCAST OR LOCAL NEWS SOURCES AND LOG IN AT www.cnmiemo.gov.mp ON THE INTERNET FOR ANY FUTURE DEVELOPMENT ON ANATAHAN VOLCANO OR ANY OTHER STATEMENTS AND ADVISORIES.
February 26, 2007
Public Health Advisory Currently In Effect:
Because of the prevailing winds, the CNMI has experienced a reduction in air quality. Residents may notice a sulfur smell and a general haze over the Marianas. The haze will not affect most residents. However, some people with chronic respiratory problems may have some symptoms and should remain indoors until the air and sulfur odor clears from our area.
Governor Benigno R, Fitial, through the Department of Public Health, advises Saipan and Tinian residents to follow the Health Advisories issued. Mariners are also advised to avoid the Anatahan area.
People with Lung Problems.
1. If you have asthma, COPD or Emphysema, you may notice some shortness of breath. If you are feeling symptoms, you are advised to stay inside. If the problem is severe, you should seek medical care from your private physician or from CHC.
2. Children with asthma should remain indoors if they have symptoms. Most children with asthma will not have any symptoms.
3. Commonwealth Health Center is prepared to handle any increase in patients due to respiratory problems.
Heavy ashfall is not expected from this event. Should there be unexpected ash accumulation.
1. Do not drink water that is contaminated by heavy ash fall.
2. Disconnect roof rainwater collection.
3. Cover water supply tanks
4. Do not drink water with a sulfur taste
5. Affected water is safe for cleaning vegetables and fruit. The ash will not harm fruits or vegetables if they are washed thoroughly
6. Affected water is safe for washing clothes.
7. Affected water is safe for showering.
Again, no significant accumulation of volcanic ash is expected. Only under very heavy ash conditions should you take the following precautions:
1. If the ash gets thick, cover your mouth and nose. Volcanic ash can irritate your respiratory system. You can use a mask or a simple piece of cloth.
2. Keep skin covered to avoid irritation from contact with ash.
3. Use goggles if ash fall gets heavy.
4. If the ash fall gets more than 1 inch thick, clear roofs of ash fall: Ash fall is very heavy and can cause buildings to collapse. Exercise great caution when working on a roof.
5. Avoid driving in heavy ash fall. Driving will stir up more ash that can clog engines and stall vehicles.
The Department of Public Health and the Emergency Management Office, through the office of the Governor, will continue to monitor the situation very closely. Further updates, including another health advisory will be issued as soon as information becomes available.
Monday, February 26, 2007