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

Courtesy of Vanessa BlasSaipan on Thursday.

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.

Courtesy of Vanessa BlasSaipan on Thursday.

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.

Instagram/@_mirae__leeSaipan after the storm.

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.

Courtesy of Vanessa BlasSaipan on Thursday.

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.

Courtesy of Vanessa BlasSaipan on Thursday.

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.

Courtesy of Vanessa BlasSaipan on Thursday.

Source: AP


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

Courtesy of Vanessa BlasSaipan on Thursday.

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.

Instagram/@_mirae__leeSaipan after the storm.

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.

Courtesy of Vanessa BlasSaipan on Thursday.

Source: Business Insider


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

Courtesy of Vanessa BlasSaipan on Thursday.

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.”

Courtesy of Vanessa BlasSaipan on Thursday.

Source: AP


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

Courtesy of Vanessa BlasSaipan on Thursday.

Source: AP


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

Courtesy of Vanessa BlasSaipan on Thursday.

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.

Courtesy of Vanessa BlasSaipan on Thursday.

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.”

Courtesy of Vanessa BlasSaipan on Thursday.

Source: Honolulu Civil Beat


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

Courtesy of Vanessa BlasSaipan on Thursday.

Source: Honolulu Civil Beat


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

Instagram/@_mirae__leeSaipan after the storm.

Source: Honolulu Civil Beat


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

Courtesy of Vanessa BlasSaipan on Thursday.

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.”

Courtesy of Vanessa BlasSaipan on Thursday.

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.”

Courtesy of Vanessa BlasSaipan on Thursday.

Source: Reuters


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

Instagram/@bushlenaDamage at a Saipan resort after the storm.

Source: Reuters


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

Courtesy of Vanessa BlasSaipan on Thursday.

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.

Courtesy of Vanessa BlasSaipan on Thursday.

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.”

Instagram/@_mirae__leeSaipan after the storm.

Source: The Guam Daily Post


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

Instagram/@_mirae__leeSaipan after the storm.

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.”

Instagram/@_mirae__leeSaipan after the storm.

Source: AP


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

Source: Instagram


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

Instagram/@bushlenaDamage at a Saipan resort after the storm.

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.

Instagram/@bushlenaDamage at a Saipan resort after the storm.

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.

Instagram/@bushlenaDamage at a Saipan resort after the storm.

Source: CIA


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

Courtesy of Vanessa BlasSaipan on Thursday.

Source: AP

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