Quantcast

Super Typhoon Yutu Slams U.S. Pacific Territories With Category 5 Strength

Climate
A NOAA satellite image of Typhoon Yutu as it hit the Island of Tinian in the Mariana Islands. NOAA

Super Typhoon Yutu hammered the U.S. territories in the Northern Mariana Islands early Thursday morning, making it the strongest storm to hit U.S. territory this year, the Associated Press reported.

The storm hit with the power of a Category 5 hurricane when it struck the largest Northern Mariana Islands of Saipan and Tinian, home to 55,000 people, with winds of 174 miles per hour, knocking out power and water and destroying homes, CNN reported.


Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands' delegate to U.S. Congress Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan told the Associated press by phone that several people were injured and that the islands would need help to recover from the storm.

"There's a lot of damage and destruction," Sablan said. "It's like a small war just passed through."

The island of Tinian got a direct hit from the eye of the storm, and National Weather Service meteorologist Brandon Aydlett said both Tinian and Saipan would be unrecognizable after the storm passed. He said he had heard reports of wind tearing off roofs and blowing out windows.

"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."

All of Tinian's shelters are full, as are six of Siapan's 10. There are currently around 200 federal emergency workers helping with recovery, Sablan said.

Glen Hunter, a 45-year-old who has lived on Saipan most of his life, told the Associated Press by Facebook message that he looked outside his home Thursday morning to find a palm tree uprooted and his neighbor's house of wood and tin entirely vanished.

"We knew it was going to be big," he wrote, "but wow."

Saipan resident Lydia Barcinas posted a video on Facebook surveying the damage.

"My family stayed because we thought it'll be fine," she told CNN. "Now (we are) just trying to find something to eat and drink" and "looking for medicine under the rubble."

Typhoon Yutu is the latest storm of the 2018 season to intensify rapidly over a short period.

Hurricane Michael and Hurricane Willa also both intensified rapidly before making landfall. More intense storms are predicted as climate change leads to warmer ocean temperatures.

Yutu is predicted to retain its intensity for 24 hours, then weaken slightly as it threatens Taiwan and the Philippines, CNN reported.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By George Citroner

The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and the World Health Organization currently recommend either 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (walking, gardening, doing household chores) or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise (running, cycling, swimming) every week.

But there's little research looking at the benefits, if any, of exercising less than the 75 minute minimum.

Read More Show Less
Mary Daly, president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, poses for a photograph. Nick Otto / Washington Post / Getty Images

It seems the reality of the climate crisis is too much for the Federal Reserve to ignore anymore.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

Passengers trying to reach Berlin's Tegel Airport on Sunday were hit with delays after police blocked roads and enacted tighter security controls in response to a climate protest.

Read More Show Less
A military police officer in Charlotte, North Carolina, pets Rosco, a post-traumatic stress disorder companion animal certified to accompany him, on Jan. 11, 2014. North Carolina National Guard

For 21 years, Doug Distaso served his country in the United States Air Force.

He commanded joint aviation, maintenance, and support personnel globally and served as a primary legislative affairs lead for two U.S. Special Operations Command leaders.

But after an Air Force plane accident left him with a traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and chronic pain, Distaso was placed on more than a dozen prescription medications by doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Read More Show Less
(L) Selma Three Stone Engagement Ring. (R) The Greener Diamond Farm Project. MiaDonna

By Bailey Hopp

If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Preliminary tests of the bubble barrier have shown it to be capable of ushering 80 percent of the canal's plastic waste to its banks. The Great Bubble Barrier / YouTube screenshot

The scourge of plastic waste that washes up on once-pristine beaches and finds its way into the middle of the ocean often starts on land, is dumped in rivers and canals, and gets carried out to sea. At the current rate, marine plastic is predicted to outweigh all the fish in the seas by 2050, according to Silicon Canals.

Read More Show Less
Man stands on stage at Fort Leonard Wood in the U.S. Brett Sayles / Pexels

Wilson "Woody" Powell served in the Air Force during the Korean war. But in the decades since, he's become staunchly anti-war.

Read More Show Less
Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at a rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa on Nov. 8. Matt Johnson / CC BY 2.0

By Julia Conley

Joined by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Friday night, Sen. Bernie Sanders held the largest rally of any 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to date in Iowa, drawing more than 2,400 people to Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs.

Read More Show Less