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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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Each year, Japan's iconic cherry blossoms herald the arrival of spring. But after a bout of extreme weather, blooms are being reported several months early.
The Japanese weather site Weathernews said it had received more than 350 reports of blossoms throughout the country. The flowers usually appear in March or April.
The 6.7-magnitude quake struck at 3:09 a.m. local time at a depth of 40 kilometers (24 miles), according to the Associated Press.