Island Saipan: 72 hours for 1500 Chinese passengers

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 Island Saipan: 72 hours for 1500 Chinese passengers


Zhang Yongchen met with typhoon Jade Rabbit with the TV drama seven days in the shooting of Saipan. Starting on the evening of the 25th, the sky began to gloom, the wind grew stronger and the rain began to rain heavily, reaching its peak at midnight - the doors and windows were shaking, as if they could fall at any moment. Zhang Yongchen had never experienced such a typhoon before. The crew hid in the room without going out. Some of the crew stayed in the toilet overnight for fear that the windows were not firm.

According to CCTV network news, local time on October 25, super typhoon Jade Rabbit hit the northern Mariana Islands, the resort island of Saipan was greatly damaged, the local airport was forced to close from 24, 1500 Chinese passengers stranded in Saipan.

The passengers stranded in Saipan organized self rescue operations. They built a WeChat group, constantly updated the latest news of typhoon, and informed the progress of rescue. They cheer on each other in groups, and when the hotel is full, they fight for each others rooms, and some even organize a card game to pass the blackouts and the intermittent network hours. From the 25th, they have been sending out messages for help through micro-blogging, bringing the status quo of Saipan Island after the Jade Rabbit crossing into the domestic public view, and rescue has come one after another.

On October 26, the Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles dispatched a working group to Guam south of Saipan, waiting for the opening of Saipan Airport, and then went to Saipan to assist the evacuation of passengers.

At 15:09 on October 28, the first flight to pick up the stranded passengers landed at Shanghai Pudong Airport and returned 274 Chinese tourists to Saipan.

Last night, the official microblog of the Consular Protection Center of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Sichuan Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Capital Airlines had received 713 Chinese tourists. The remaining tourists will return to charter flights on 29 days.

Late hot search

In October 28th, Chinese tourists checked in at Saipan, capital of the Northern Mariana Islands. Map / Xinhua News Agency

On October 26, when Typhoon Saipans Typhoon Typhoon Twitter Weibo hit the hot spot, Dr. Sun Hongtao did not know where he would sleep the next night.

He described the night the typhoon landed as a horrible night that could not have been imagined by anyone who was typing in a peaceful environment or in an air-conditioned room. Typhoon Yutu, arriving in Saipan on the evening of the 25th (Saipan time is 26 am), is not only the worlds strongest typhoon in the history of Saipan and Tianning in 2018, but also the coldest typhoon in China this year.

On the night of typhoon arrival, the hotel turned on the generator. The noise from day to night kept Sun Hongtaos little daughter sleepless. Instead, he calmed down and restored electricity, water and food to normal. The difficulty seemed to be over.

The bad news came on the afternoon of 26. Initially, he saw pictures of Saipan Airport posted to him in a group of tweets called Solution of the Saipan Residents. No one repaired it. The airport, as an important gateway to the outside world, gave him the impression that it was in disorder.

In the lobby of the downstairs hotel, Sun Hongtao, holding his daughter, met a group of anxious stranded tourists. He heard more bad news: some hotels could not be renewed, and a couple of honeymooners had to move to the opposite accommodation. He was worried. We are 78 years old. There are Xiaogang 1 years old. There is no place to live and live in the street.

At the time, the local government in Saipan had asked the hotel to provide rooms for the local residents affected by the disaster, and the arrival of international relief organizations also needed rooms. For a moment, some hotel rooms could not meet the demand. From nine a.m., there are people who have full time to stay in the front desk and wait for the empty rooms to continue.

Sun Hongtao went to the front desk of the hotel several times, confirmed that only through the travel agency can handle the renewal, and can only make a one-day reservation, he felt the spirit has reached the limit, he contacted the local guide, issued two 30-second voice, his old and young again.

Sun Hongtao quickly received a response from the tour guide: If there is really no room, what to do now is unknown.

He consoled his 78-year-old mother, who had cried for fear the night of the typhoon.

At 5:02 p.m. Beijing time on the 26th, the TV drama Seven Days of Life crew in Saipan also issued a microblog for help: Help, the current seven-day TV drama crew due to the impact of typhoon Jade Rabbit, 80 people were stranded in Saipan, airport roads damaged, unable to return home. Ask all the friends of micro-blog to help. Try to get the crew back home as soon as possible!

Zhang Yongchen, the director of the Seven DaysLife TV series filmed in Saipan, knew the news of Typhoon Jade Rabbit landing on the 22nd. The crew decided to snap up the film and return home as soon as possible. Finally, the crew failed to win the weather.

The two stars, Li Chen and Wang Qianyuan, were killed a week earlier and returned home smoothly. The remaining 80 crew members were trapped in the squad.

When the micro-blog was launched, it didnt attract much attention until Li Chen, a member of the production team, forwarded the micro-blog, and netizens noticed the typhoon disaster on Saipan. The Jade Rabbit also became a hot search that day.

Neglected danger

Before leaving for Symbian, Liu Wei was an employee of Daqing Petrochemical Company, and friends of the same trade named the trip Romantic Journey; Chen Shuyu planned to celebrate her lovers birthday in a foreign country, and the couple walked six kilometers to buy a cake; programmer Wang Huan planned to take a full years vacation for herself; Half a month ago, the invitation said, love is never ending.

After Liu Wei got off the plane on the 22 day, he heard that there would be a typhoon visiting here in a few days.

Likewise, Liu Min, who only learned about the typhoon on the 22nd, was ready to book tickets to return home immediately, but found that all the tickets were sold out. Two days later, Saipan had reached the level ten, and the plane could not take off.

Sun Hongtao had been aware of the danger. He had heard about the typhoon, but he had not been formally notified by the travel agency. He thought it was just normal typhoon weather on tropical islands. After the National Day, Sun Hongtao tried to contact the travel agency to cancel the trip because of work arrangements. He was told that he had to pay all the expenses himself.

Finally, biting his teeth, he decided to proceed according to the original plan. We are just a tourist. We dont want to lose a lot of money. We dont want to miss this holiday. As a professional travel agency, if you know there is such a big typhoon, but also let hundreds of tourists come, it is not helpless to watch people jump into the fire pit?

Afterwards, he contacted the exclusive customer service of the travel agency, hoping to find out the responsibility for inadequate notification, but the operator did not even know that there was a typhoon in Saipan.

When they arrived, the island was blue and the sky was clear. Outside the window, Liu Minying, a tourist, took a picture. Coconuts stood on the edge of the swimming pool and stretched straight into the sky. She planned the trip ahead of time, experiencing parachutes and SUVs, snorkeling in the Blue Hole, and boarding a warship island.

Signs of the typhoon appeared a day earlier. In the afternoon of Oct. 25, local time, Saipan had already started to cut off water and electricity. Fresh water supply on the island depended on pumps, so the water would be cut off immediately after the power cut. Local tour guide Wang Ya (not his real name) said, Typhoon 2015 is not as severe as this one, water and power outages for a month, this is estimated to be longer.

Around 2 a.m. (local time) on the 26th, Yao Siyuan was awakened by the wind on her honeymoon. She felt the whole room shaking and the glass on both sides of the corridor shattered. Outside, there was a shout, and she was so frightened that she was worried that the glass of the balcony would be blown by the wind. Her husband moved a chair and sat in a chair against the door to ensure that it would not be blown away by the typhoon.

Outside the window, the sound of the wind, the swaying of trees, the breaking of branches, the sound of sundries falling on the glass or other things, and the high frequency vibration of the room glass, ghosts and wolves howl, Chen Shuyi was awakened and frightened to hide in the toilet. Because of the negative pressure, the toilet sometimes sounded. Like pipes entering the air and the sound of backstreaming.

When the typhoon was strongest between 1 and 2 a.m., Guo Liang, a Chinese resident in Saipan, felt like he was standing on the edge of a waterfall. He also hid in the toilet. Ninety percent of Saipan is made of plain glass, not toughened glass. Its easy to scratch a window if it breaks.

That night, the whole group hardly shut their eyes. We chatted in the group, sent messages to encourage each other, and sent red envelopes, hoping to be able to accompany each other.

Island seeking help

In October 28th, Chinese tourists, who were stranded in Saipan, were ordered to return to China in the wake of the super typhoon Jade Rabbit. According to the plan, 4 planes were sent to Chinese tourists on that day to return to China on the afternoon of 28 Beijing time. Map / Xinhua News Agency

On the two day after dawn, the low pressure brought by the typhoon made the ears seem to be stuffed with cotton. Chen Shuyu opened the curtains and found that the broken wood almost hit the glass door.

The iron roof of Wang Yas garage was overturned, the roof of his neighbors house was gone, and there was no tree left in the backyard. The roads were covered with fallen trees and poles, and parked vehicles were blown away by the wind and hit other vehicles. Many of the buildings in the area are iron bungalows, and the iron sheets that are blown away can be seen on the road.

478 of the Chinese tour guides in Saipan are talking about typhoons. The houses are shaking, and the children are too scared to sleep.

Saipan is the main island of the Northern Mariana Islands, the furthest overseas territory from the United States, located in the western Pacific Ocean, 2500 km east of the Philippines. There is no Chinese consulate on the island, and the nearest Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles is 9606 kilometers away from Saipan.

According to Wang Ya, the Los Angeles Consulate General will only send a working group to Saipan once a year to handle passport replacement and renewal for the local people.

A year ago, Guo Liang came to Saipan and found that there were many Chinese-run tourism industries and were friendly to Chinese tourists. At the same time, Saipan was visa-free to China, which made him decide to invest in a home. Up to now, there are about 6000 permanent Chinese residents in Saipan, and the average number of Chinese tourists is about 2000. Tour guide Wang Ya can receive more than 200 Chinese tourists every month.

This typhoon, the south of Saipan disaster is serious, many local residentshouses have been destroyed, ordinary peoples tin simple houses, basically was blown away by the typhoon. Guo Liang said. The hotels that the tourists live in are reinforced concrete buildings, which are not damaged in disasters.

On the morning of the 26th, before daybreak, the construction vehicles have started to clean up the road surface, first to ensure traffic, after the maintenance of electricity. Guo Liang drove out in the morning and found that the road was half-covered by the collapse of the poles. The rest of the people are still courteous to each other. Even in the case of disaster, the gas station line up more than 300 meters, queue jumping, looting situation is completely absent. Supermarkets are operating normally, and the government has begun to distribute relief supplies free of charge.

Guo Liang heard the news, Saipans only airport has been devastated, the aircraft can not land, only some helicopters can fly directly from Guam. Wang Ya heard that the airport had to be repaired for the first month. In a sense, Saipan became an isolated island.

On October 26, Zhang Yongchen thought he would be able to return home as planned that day. The typhoon passed, and it will not affect much. But he was also informed that the airport of Saipan had been destroyed. The crew were panicked. Everybody has a follow-up plan to go back to China. If we stay on this island for a month, the airport breaks down and everybody cant get out, how can we get in the supplies and how can we maintain the lives of so many people?

Mutual aid in the island

According to the plan, Liu Wei will take the flight home at 6:10 a.m. on the 26th. When he checks out, he will be informed to stay at the hotel for another 125 dollars per night. In the WeChat group chat, a good English person suggested that the hotel price would be $97.75, and the price would be increased privately.

Liu Weis group chat consisted of 178 people, that is, different groups live in a hotel, the same group live in different hotels, then contact with each other. In the group chat, from time to time, some people actively share information about their hotel vacancies, in order to save money, some people live together, the most of a double bed room filled with eight people.

That night, they hoped to find cheaper hotels. The first hotel we found was full and the second was open. The owner suggested that there was not enough oil for the generator and that water and electricity might be cut off at any time.

After the typhoon, some local houses were damaged and stayed in hotels. The big hotels are full, many small hotels have no water and no electricity. On the 25th, even some people can only sleep in the hotel lobby. In a mutual aid group of more than 200 people, group friends tell each other the news of their spare room in their hotel.

Saipan, a typhoon, is hard to count. Liu Weis group chat was initially an information group booking air tickets. After the typhoon, more and more trapped people joined in. Until the evening of 26, a couple tentatively asked in the group: Can anyone accept our room?

Wang Huan, a programmer trapped in Saipan after the typhoon, bought mineral water and instant noodles at the supermarket and asked in a group of Weixin, How about playing cards together, boys and girls stranded by the typhoon?

The makeshift card board at the hotel ended up with 13 people, each bringing something, some bringing mineral water and instant noodles - the most precious gift of the typhoon era, some bringing a box of $6 cards, some bringing good news, and one Taiwanese tourist bringing bad news: Taiwans latest. A flight will have to wait until November 4th.

Now, the group has joined 78 people, Wang Huan said, that is, waiting for news in the hotel lobby, chatting with people while shopping in the supermarket at the door, you can immediately exchange the latest news.

In the group of more than 200 people, apart from fighting for a room, people take the initiative to check the situation at the airport every day and send the photos back to the group. Communication equipment is broken, there are planes coming in these two days, can only pick up people to go, can not enter the country, our Chinese plane tomorrow.

Besides, in the group chat, people tell each other where to eat cheaply, a Chinese restaurant is popular, a $10 buffet lunch can be a full meal.

On the 26 day, Xu Xu, who was in China, found that he couldnt reach his girlfriend. She was traveling in Saipan. In the help group, he tweeted for help: Excuse me, your location is not far from Saipan Aka Resort, because she can not be found, very anxious. With the help of his group friends, he soon found his girlfriend.

Off Island Rescue

Local time on October 25, 2018, Saipan Island, North Mariana Islands, Typhoon 26 Jade Rabbit attacked the area caused great damage. Map / Vision China

On Weibo, Saipans Jade Rabbit began to attract a lot of attention from netizens. Actor Li Chen only forwarded the help message to the crew on Weibo, which has received 2023 forwards and 30,000 praises.

At 14:40 on the 26th, Guo Xuetao, who was detained in Saipan, sent a letter of appeal on his micro-blog, saying: I live in the Canoa Hotel and renew my room at my own expense, about 830 yuan a day, and eat and drink about 350 yuan a day for each person. We dont have a lot of US dollars on hand to support us. Please send it to our countrymen and save our countrymen!!!

The account, which had only two microblogs and 24 fans, also received 49 forwards, with another seven detainees gathered in 38 comments.

In the interview, Sun Hongtao told more emotional stories: complaining about the poor airport repair in Saipan, accusing travel agencies of not doing their duty...

On the 27th, he received a reply: Listen to the voice, answer the phone like a young man, good attitude, he told me to coordinate the plane, we can start on the 28th arrangements to return home. Saipan airport will be urgently repaired, and plans will be held on 28 and 29 days to transport personnel from China, Japan and Korea.

Subsequently, Sichuan Airlines and Capital Airlines issued a message, will send a passenger plane to Saipan on the 28th, to pick up stranded passengers home. Zhang Yongchen has always stressed that the Losangeles general consulate responds promptly and has a good attitude.

Sun Hongtao still thinks to this day, Speaking on the Internet is actually an act of self-help, for fear of what happens to you, the domestic do not know. Because such a big natural disaster, individuals or individual companies, organizations will not be able to solve, only rely on the government. He worries about being trapped on Saipan. As a citizen, this is the first and only choice. Were actually passing on the voice, and Im sure the country wont ignore more than 1,500 of us. Right?

On the 26th, the Consular Protection Center of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a micro-blog, saying that it has noticed about 1,500 Chinese tourists stranded in Saipan, and the Los Angeles Consulate General is coordinating to provide assistance to tourists. The Los Angeles Consulate Generals team flew to Guam south of Saipan on the same day, where they waited for Saipan airport to resume navigation, and then went to Saipan to help tourists evacuate. Chinas Sichuan Airlines chartered flight No. 3U8647 landed at Saipan International Airport on the morning of 28, becoming the first international flight to arrive in Saipan after being attacked by the Jade Rabbit, Xinhua reported. Zhang Yongchen returned to China with 273 Chinese tourists on a charter flight. At 2:19 p.m. on October 28, CCTV News Weibo said that Saipan Airport is limited to civil aviation aircraft. Capital Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and other chartered flights have been arranged to go to Saipan Island to pick up stranded Chinese tourists. Source: Beijing News Editor: Han Jiapeng _NN9841

On the 26th, the Consular Protection Center of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a micro-blog, saying that it has noticed about 1,500 Chinese tourists stranded in Saipan, and the Los Angeles Consulate General is coordinating to provide assistance to tourists. The Los Angeles Consulate Generals team flew to Guam south of Saipan on the same day, where they waited for Saipan airport to resume navigation, and then went to Saipan to help tourists evacuate.

Chinas Sichuan Airlines chartered flight No. 3U8647 landed at Saipan International Airport on the morning of 28, becoming the first international flight to arrive in Saipan after being attacked by the Jade Rabbit, Xinhua reported.

Zhang Yongchen returned to China with 273 Chinese tourists on a charter flight.

At 2:19 p.m. on October 28, CCTV News Weibo said that Saipan Airport is limited to civil aviation aircraft. Capital Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and other chartered flights have been arranged to go to Saipan Island to pick up stranded Chinese tourists.