CNMI casino shut for three weeks by typhoon

The casino operations of Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino in the Northern Marianas have been temporarily shut down- yet another casualty of the devastation brought by Typhoon Soudelor.

The CNMI's first operational casino was forced to close down on Friday amid widespread visitor cancellations.

Since Soudelor battered Saipan on August 2nd, more than 9,000 tourists have cancelled their trips to the CNMI, resulting in lost revenue of US$24 million dollars.

While Tinian was not that badly affected its struggles result from the devastation on neighbouring Saipan, the territory's international air hub.

Meanwhile, the Northern Marianas' Governor's office says work has begun to reconnect electricity on Saipan after Soudelor destroyed much of its power grid.

Almost 400 power poles were brought down by the typhoon when it hit on August 2, leaving the entire island without power.

Residents have since been relying on generators provided by the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The Governor's spokesman says power poles are due to arrive on island in about a week's time while linemen from around the region have arrived to help with reconstruction.

Ivan Blanco says the power outage is expected to last another 1 to 2 months, but for now, the island will continue to rely on generators.

"The FEMA generators are generating the water wells from the different locations on Saipan. The hospital power feeder to the hospital is on line it's not on generator anymore. All recovery efforts are in full-force at the moment."