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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, February 15, 2010

Small Pacific island running short of food

Associated Press

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands A small island in the western Pacific has run short of food because rough seas are preventing a shipping vessel from entering port.

The last shipment of goods reached Rota, which had a population of 3,283 in 2000, on Dec. 21.
Rota Mayor Melchor A. Mendiola has asked Northern Mariana Islands Gov. Benigno R. Fitial for help.
Melchor told Fitial that retail stores supplying basic goods are out of stock and the use of air transportation would lead to prohibitive inflationary pricing.
Saipan Shipping Co. Inc. marketing manager Alex Sablan said Friday that its vessel has failed to reach port every weekend since late December because of sea conditions and bad weather.
Harvest Market co-owner Estrella Mendiola says the store ran out of rice a month ago.