Emergency declared in typhoon-ravaged Northern Mariana

October 27, 2018
Hundreds of tourists were also stranded with the international airport on the main island of Saipan closed to commercial flights

US military aircraft laden with emergency supplies flew in to the Northern Mariana Islands Saturday in the wake of destructive Super Typhoon Yutu which destroyed buildings and cut electricity.

Ralph Torres, the governor of the US Pacific territory, said President Donald Trump had approved a request for a "major disaster declaration" after the storm.

Yutu packed winds of up to 180 miles per hour (290 kilometers per hour), left one person dead, and caused widespread damage.

At least 130 people required hospital treatment, mainly for cuts caused by flying debris.

More than 1,000 were also stranded with the international airport on the main island of Saipan closed to commercial flights to free up space for military aircraft.

China's consular office in Los Angeles said around 1,500 Chinese tourists were trapped on Saipan and would be evacuated from Sunday, Beijing's official Xinhua news agency reported.

A total of 21 South Korean tourists were airlifted out of Saipan to Guam and returned home Saturday, according to Korean news agency Yonhap.

Electricity was out across Saipan, which is home to most of the territory's 55,000 residents, as well as nearby Tinian.

Tinian mayor Joey San Nicolas said aid was urgently needed and authorities still did not know the full extent of the damage, two days after Yutu swept through.

A resident (C) clearing up in Saipan after Super Typhoon Yutu caused widespread destruction across the US Pacific territory island as well as nearby Tinian
"Many homes have been destroyed. Our physical infrastructure has been compromised. We have no power or water," he said.

"Our ports are currently inaccessible, and several other points in other parts of the island are also inaccessible."

There have been reports of looting, and stores which were able to open quickly ran out of water and food.

"Right now, water, clothing, personal hygiene and easy to cook food items like canned goods and instant noodles are needed," Saipan resident Jonathan Perez told AFP.

Torres' office said on its Facebook page that the one known fatality was a 44-year-old woman who died while taking shelter in an abandoned building that collapsed.

Explore further: Satellite sees Supertyphoon Yutu's eye pass over Tinian

Related Stories

Satellite sees Supertyphoon Yutu's eye pass over Tinian

October 24, 2018

On Oct. 24, the National Weather Service or NWS in Tiyan, Guam issued the warning that "Catastrophic winds for Tinian and Saipan are imminent" as the eye of Super typhoon Yutu neared both islands. NASA-JAXA's GPM satellite ...

NASA tracks Tropical Storm Yutu, warnings posted

October 22, 2018

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over the Northwestern Pacific Ocean and captured a visible image of Tropical Storm Yutu as warnings were posted. A typhoon watch is in force for Tinian and Saipan and a tropical storm ...

Suomi NPP satellite sees Tropical Storm Champi affecting Guam

October 16, 2015

Tropical Storm Champi was over Guam and the Marianas Islands when NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured a visible image of the storm. On October 16, Champi was moving farther away from Saipan and Tinian in a westerly direction.

Recommended for you

Afromontane forests and climate change

January 17, 2019

In the world of paleoecology, little has been known about the historical record of ecosystems in the West African highlands, especially with regard to glacial cycles amidst a shifting climate and their effects on species ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.