Super Typhoon Yutu batters Marianas
October 25, 2018 -- The strongest storm ever to hit the Northern Mariana Islands has devastated Saipan and left Tinian reportedly “destroyed”.
Super Typhoon Yutu strengthened into the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane with sustained wind speeds of 280 kph (174 mph) before hitting the Northern Mariana Islands on Wednesday night, and is now spiralling towards the Philippines and Taiwan.
Yutu is the strongest storm to ever hit the remote island communities of Saipan and Tinian, the largest of the Mariana Islands and home to some 55,000 people. The eye of the storm passed directly over Tinian, unleashing its full force upon the 3,500 residents there.
Several areas of Tinian are inaccessible, with authorities yet to complete a preliminary assessment of the damage – although the Mayor’s office says that “Tinian has been destroyed by Typhoon Yutu, but our spirits have not. Many homes have been destroyed, our critical infrastructure has been compromised. We currently have no power and water at this time.”