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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.

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