Yutu is believed to be the strongest storm to ever hit the Northern Mariana Islands, which are a U.S. commonwealth in the Pacific located near Guam.
Still recovering from the aftermath of Typhoon Mangkhut, the winds and rains of Super Typhoon Yutu has only brought further devastation.
Rescue teams and heavy equipment have been mobilized across the Northern Mariana Islands after a super typhoon hit the USA territory early Thursday morning, causing blackouts and damage to critical infrastructure. The National Weather Service says the Category 5 storm is among the strongest to hit one of the Mariana Islands in decades.
"It's a very powerful storm, ' Foster said".
Satellite imagery from the NOAA shows that the storm passed directly over Tinian, a small island with a population of a little more than 3,000.
The Saipan Tribune, quoting the governor's office, said a 44-year-old woman was killed when a building collapsed on Saipan during the height of the storm.
"At its peak, the wind was constant and the sound horrifying", he wrote. He expects there will be a presidential disaster declaration put in place.
In a separate announcement, the Public School System said its students on Saipan, Tinian and Rota will be released from 11 a.m.to 12:30 noon, Tuesday.
"It's going to take weeks probably to get electricity back to everybody", he said.
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Saipan resident Glen Hunter says electricity went out hours before the storm crossed over early Thursday.
"The Tinian Medical Center sustained extensive damage".
Recovery efforts on Saipan and Tinian will be slow, said Brandon Aydlett, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. So what you've seen and even the near misses we've had, the hits that we've had, what has just happened in the Northern Marianas we're still early in the season.
It was still quite dark when he peeked outside and saw his neighbor's house, made of wood and tin, completely gone.
Japan's Meteorological Agency said that as of noon on Thursday, the season's 26th typhoon was moving west near the Mariana Islands with a central barometric pressure of 905 hectopascals.
It's now about 175 kilometers (108 miles) west of the Mariana Islands, moving northwest through the Philippine Sea at 20 kph (12 mph). "This is going to be the storm which sets the scale for which future storms are compared to".
Yutu is believed to be the strongest storm to ever hit the Marianas.
Waves of 25 to 40 feet are expected around the eye of the storm and flooding is likely, forecasters said.
"I really don't know I have a number of photos that are just coming in from folks that are on the island of Tinian and also Rota and Saipan".