31 photos show the devastation in the Northern Mariana Islands after Super Typhoon Yutu made a direct hit as a Category 5 storm

Saipan on Thursday.

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Saipan on Thursday.
source
Courtesy of Vanessa Blas

The Northern Mariana Islands are just beginning to pick up the pieces after Super Typhoon Yutu made a direct hit on the islands early Thursday morning as a Category 5 storm with sustained winds of 180 mph.

The typhoon not only brought down trees and power lines, but according to some witness accounts also caused concrete buildings to collapse.

The islands, which are a US commonwealth, now face a months-long recovery effort.

Here’s what the islands looked like after the storm had passed through:


At least one person has been confirmed dead from Yutu in the Northern Mariana Islands. A 44-year-old woman died after taking shelter in an abandoned building on Saipan, which collapsed.

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Saipan on Thursday.
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Courtesy of Vanessa Blas

Source: The Weather Channel


“This is an unfortunate incident, but CNMI and federal partners continue to focus on life-saving and life-sustaining operations,” the governor’s office said in a statement.

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Saipan after the storm.
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Instagram/@_mirae__lee

Source: The Weather Channel


Several people have been injured, Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, the commonwealth’s Congressional delegate, said, though he couldn’t give a specific number of casualties.

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Saipan on Thursday.
source
Courtesy of Vanessa Blas

Source: AP


Sablan said he’s heard reports of people lining up at Saipan’s hospital to be treated for injuries sustained in the storm.

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Saipan on Thursday.
source
Courtesy of Vanessa Blas

Source: AP


Sablan said he has not been able to reach officials on the islands of Tinian and Rota since the phones and electricity are out.

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Saipan on Thursday.
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Courtesy of Vanessa Blas

Source: AP


“There’s a lot of damage and destruction,” Sablan said. “It’s like a small war just passed through.”

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Saipan on Thursday.
source
Courtesy of Vanessa Blas

Source: AP


President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency in the Northern Mariana Islands ahead of the storm to free up federal resources to help the islands recover.

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Saipan after the storm.
source
Instagram/@_mirae__lee

Source: AP


Satellite imagery showed the eye passing directly over Tinian, a small island of a little more than 3,000 residents, just after midnight Thursday morning.

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Saipan on Thursday.
source
Courtesy of Vanessa Blas

Source: Business Insider


Brandon Aydlett, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said both Saipan and Tinian will be unrecognizable after the storm.

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Saipan on Thursday.
source
Courtesy of Vanessa Blas

Source: AP


“This is the worst-case scenario. This is why the building codes in the Marianas are so tough,” Aydlett said. “This is going to be the storm which sets the scale for which future storms are compared to.”

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Saipan on Thursday.
source
Courtesy of Vanessa Blas

Source: AP


Glen Hunter, 45, who was lived on Saipan since childhood, said Yutu was the worst storm he has ever experienced.

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Saipan on Thursday.
source
Courtesy of Vanessa Blas

Source: AP


“At its peak, the wind was constant and the sound horrifying,” Hunter said.

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Saipan on Thursday.
source
Courtesy of Vanessa Blas

Source: AP


College student Fariha Omar was in the middle of class in Boston on Wednesday when she got a Facebook message from her family on Saipan, telling her that the windows in their home had burst during the storm.

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Saipan on Thursday.
source
Courtesy of Vanessa Blas

Source: Honolulu Civil Beat


“Basically all the windows in my house imploded, debris flew into my house, air conditioners were ripped out of the walls,” Omar told Honolulu Civil Beat. “They got some cuts and scratches trying to find a safe place within the house.”

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Saipan on Thursday.
source
Courtesy of Vanessa Blas

Source: Honolulu Civil Beat


Guam National Weather Service Meteorologist Paul Stanko said the storm wiped out their wind instruments at the Saipan airport.

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Saipan on Thursday.
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Courtesy of Vanessa Blas

Source: Honolulu Civil Beat


“We’ve got a thermometer and a barometer and that’s it,” Stanko said.

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Saipan after the storm.
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Instagram/@_mirae__lee

Source: Honolulu Civil Beat


Stanko said the eye of the storm stretched from Saipan to Guam, completely enveloping Tinian.

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Saipan on Thursday.
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Courtesy of Vanessa Blas

Source: Honolulu Civil Beat


“It was almost as big as the Marianas,” Stanko said. “On the US mainland they would have of course evacuated people, but it’s much harder to evacuate people from islands. We just have to lock ourselves in and weather it out.”

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Saipan on Thursday.
source
Courtesy of Vanessa Blas

Source: Honolulu Civil Beat


Tinian Mayor Joey Patrick San Nicolas told Reuters that many homes on the island have been destroyed and “critical infrastructure has been compromised.”

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Saipan on Thursday.
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Courtesy of Vanessa Blas

Source: Reuters


“We currently have no power and water at this time and our ports are inaccessible,” San Nicolas added.

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Damage at a Saipan resort after the storm.
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Instagram/@bushlena

Source: Reuters


San Nicolas said about 30 people had been rescued on Tinian as of Thursday.

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Saipan on Thursday.
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Courtesy of Vanessa Blas

Source: Reuters


Dr. Philip Dauterman, who lives on Saipan, said that on the way to work after the storm, he noticed a car dealership that had a collapsed wall.

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Saipan on Thursday.
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Courtesy of Vanessa Blas

Source: The Guam Daily Post


“This requires Category 5 winds to do this,” Dauterman told The Guam Daily Post. “Lesser winds won’t collapse concrete walls.”

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Saipan after the storm.
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Instagram/@_mirae__lee

Source: The Guam Daily Post


The islands are now waiting for shipments of food, supplies, and emergency personnel.

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Saipan after the storm.
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Instagram/@_mirae__lee

Source: Reuters


Nadine Deleon Guerrero, a spokeswoman for the commonwealth’s emergency management agency, said that they are in the process of “deploying resources to clear our roadways so first responders can begin assisting residents who have lost their homes and for those who need transport to seek medical attention or transportation to the nearest shelter.”

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Saipan after the storm.
source
Instagram/@_mirae__lee

Source: AP


A Korean woman posted a picture showing flood damage at the Kanoa Resort on Saipan after the storm.

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Instagram/@_mirae__lee

Source: Instagram


A Russian woman posted several pictures of the damage to a resort on Saipan.

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Damage at a Saipan resort after the storm.
source
Instagram/@bushlena

Source: Instagram


“Last night was stressful at the hotel, where the glass flew out, the tiles flew off, the structures collapsed. Now the island is coming to life, just like we,” the woman wrote.

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Damage at a Saipan resort after the storm.
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Instagram/@bushlena

Source: Instagram


The typhoon will no doubt have an impact on the Northern Mariana Islands tourism industry, which is a major driver of their economy.

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Damage at a Saipan resort after the storm.
source
Instagram/@bushlena

Source: CIA


The islands face the possibility of months without electricity or running water.

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Saipan on Thursday.
source
Courtesy of Vanessa Blas

Source: AP