Super Typhoon Yutu, one of the strongest ever landed in the United States' or its territories, slammed the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) then headed west toward Asia on Thursday.
"We just went through one of the worst storms I' ve seen in all my experience in emergency management." Nadine C. Deleon Guerrero, External Affairs Officer of CNMI Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEM) said in a statement after Yutu just moved away from the islands.
The latest bulletin issued by from the Governor's Office Thursday said the super Typhoon made extensive damages to critical infrastructure on Saipan and Tinian, who both are main islands suffered the devastation, and left many families displaced.
The powerful storm tore up roofs and downed trees and power lines in the Marianas, the bulletin said, adding local authority had sent an expedited request to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for immediate humanitarian relief, including Food, water, cots, toilet kits, tarps and temporary shelters.
In a video posted to Facebook, Tinian Mayor Joey San Nicolas said that the island "has been devastated," "Our critical infrastructure has been compromised, we currently have no power and water," the island's ports and other points are inaccessible.
The damages still need to be assessed, San Nicolas said, adding that emergency crews are working now to help people who need to leave their homes and move into shelters.
According to Weather Underground, a real weather geeks group, Yutu passed directly over the islands of Tinian and Saipan, bring sustained winds of 180 mph.
"#Yutu is tied as the fifth strongest landfall ever recorded globally (180 mph sustained winds). The only stronger landfall in the U.S. or its territories was the Labor Day hurricane (Florida Keys, 1935). Ominously, 7 of the 10 strongest landfalls have occurred since 2006." Weather Underground tweeted.
Yutu is now heading toward the northern portion of the Philippines, the National Weather Service (NWS) said. When it crosses into Philippines' area of responsibility in the Pacific Ocean, the super Typhoon will be renamed Rosita according to the country's naming system.
The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the CNMI, is an insular area and commonwealth of the United States consisting of 15 islands in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, in where more than 50,000 residents are living. Enditem