Super Typhoon Yutu hits Northern Mariana Islands with 180-mph winds


Although Yutu is classified as a Super Typhoon stronger than Typhoons Pongsongwa and Paka and comparable to Super Typhoon Karen, the path of the storm as it passed our island put Guam on the outskirts of the severely damaging winds.

Maximum sustained winds of 180 miles per hour (290 kph) were recorded around the eye of the storm, which passed over the islands of Tinian and Saipan early Thursday, the National Weather Service said. "Many homes have been destroyed", says the mayor of Tinian, an island in the U.S. Pacific territory.

"We just went through one of the worst storms I've seen", Gerald J. Deleon Guerrero, a special assistant with the Northern Mariana Islands' emergency management agency, said in a bulletin about the storm.

"Many homes have been destroyed, our critical infrastructure has been compromised, we now have no power and water at this time and our ports are inaccessible", said Joey Patrick San Nicolas, mayor of the island of Tinian.

Tinian suffered a direct hit. A palm tree was uprooted.

The US National Weather Service advisory for the islands warned of "devastating damage" from the "collapse of residential structures", partial or total destruction of industrial and apartment buildings, and loss of water and electricity for days to weeks. 2018 is going to be a very busy year in terms of storm formations. Already, we know friends and family who are experiencing the worst of these conditions.

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The roof flew off the second floor of Del Benson's Saipan home. Then the roof started to go. "So we have got to look and ensure for the island of Guam that we are prepared for all types of events including a category five", stressed the Governor.

Recovery efforts on Saipan and Tinian will be slow, said Aydlett of the weather service. Northern Marianas College said its campuses on Saipan, and Tinian will be closed Tuesday effective 11:30 a.m. He hunkered down in his hotel room, where guests were told to remain indoors because winds were still strong Thursday morning.

He said the winds were so strong they ripped the boards off the windows on his house. "It's going to be more of a wind damage threat versus rain".

"The fact that we still have internet access proves how solid their infrastructure is", he said.

Yutu is believed to be the strongest storm to ever hit the Marianas. "2207520000.1540432264./2284164001814092/?type=3&theater" target="_blank">issued a weather warning late Wednesday, cautioning residents on Saipan and Tinian that storm surges "pose life-threatening risk for those living along the coast".

It's now about 175 kilometers (108 miles) west of the Mariana Islands, moving northwest through the Philippine Sea at 20 kph (12 mph).