Guam, Rota under Typhoon Condition 1; CNMI declares 'state of major disaster'
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Guam and CNMI officials advised island residents to remain indoors as Typhoon Mawar moves closer at an intensified speed with maximum sustained winds increasing to 130mph.
In the Nothern Marianas, Gov. Arnold Palacios issued a "declaration of significant emergency and state of a major disaster," while upgrading the declaration for Rota to Typhoon Condition I and placing Saipan and Tinian under Tropical Storm Condition I.
According to CNMI Homeland Security Emergency Management's latest bulletin as of 1 p.m., the eye of Typhoon Mawar was located near latitude 11.4 degrees north and longitude 146.7 degrees east.
On its current track, the system is expected to bring tropical storm-force winds to Guam by this evening, with the possibility of typhoon-force winds of 81 to 110 mph by Wednesday morning. Rainfall amounts of 8 to 15 inches are possible with locally higher amounts. A slowing forward speed could lead to much higher rainfall totals.
Government offices on Guam and the CNMI are closed, and shelters have been activated in both territories.
Guam and CNMI officials warned business owners against raising the prices of commodities and rent amid the looming disaster crisis.
The Office of the Attorney General on Guam noted that price gouging during times of emergency is prohibited under local law.
Under Guam law, "merchants and landlords cannot increase the price of goods in advance of a possible disaster (i.e. tropical storm/typhoon)."
Upon declaration of COR 2, "all prices of wholesale and retail goods shall be frozen, and shall be frozen until 72 hours after the declaration of COR 4." Rent can be frozen up to 120 days after a disaster upon executive order of the governor.
In the CNMI, Palacios declared a price freeze pursuant to the Consumer Disaster Price Freeze Act.
The price of the following items are frozen:
Gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel, natural gas, and all other chemical fuels, whether in gaseous, liquid, or solid form;
All foods and foodstuffs, including water, bottled water, beverages, and ice;
Flashlights, lamps, lanterns, candles, light bulbs, and other means of illumination;
Generators, cables, wires, electrical batteries of every sort, and similar equipment for the generation and/or transmission of electrical power;
All appliances used in the storage and/or preparation of food, including, but not limited to stoves, barbecue grills, ovens, refrigerators, and coolers;
Tools typically used for construction, ground clearing, or home repairs, whether electrically powered, chemically powered, or manual, including but not limited to, saws, machetes, hammers, drills, shovels, rakes, and brooms.
All bedding items, including pillows, futons, and blankets.
This price freeze shall last until rescinded, or until the declarations of emergency or disaster are terminated, whichever occurs first.