The Latest: Military plane bringing food, water to Marianas

HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yutu in the Northern Mariana Islands (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesman David Gervino says a military plane is bringing food, water, tarps and other supplies to help the Northern Mariana Islands cope with the aftermath of a massive typhoon.

Gervino says FEMA already had significant water and food supplies in place before the Super Typhoon Yutu hit.

It stored than 220,000 liters of water and 260,000 shelf-stable meals at a distribution center on nearby Guam to prepare for Typhoon Mangkhut, which struck last month.

But the effects of Mangkhut turned out to be not as bad as expected, so FEMA had supplies left over.

Gervino says FEMA is also focused on helping restore power, opening sea and air ports and ensuring cell towers can operate on emergency power until utility power returns.


3 p.m.

The top health official in the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands says the territory’s only hospital began seeing patients at daylight after Super Typhoon Yutu passed over the islands.

Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation CEO Esther Lizama Muna says 133 patients went to the hospital in Saipan, the territory’s largest island. There were three people with severe injuries that needed surgery as of Thursday local time after the storm hit.

There has been one storm-related death.

Muna says the hospital is running on generators. A health center on Tinian was damaged but operating normally.

She says she expects more people to seek medical help Friday.

Muna says public health teams will survey villages on Saipan and Tinian. She says her experience with previous typhoons shows that people tend to delay their own health care while focusing on their homes.


1:10 p.m.

The Northern Marina Islands’ delegate to Congress says the southern part of Saipan has been devastated by a super typhoon and the U.S. territory’s most populated island won’t recover for many months.

Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan says Friday local time that he has never seen destruction so bad.

Sablan told the AP a day earlier that the entire island sustained damage but that it wasn’t the worst storm he had experienced in his lifetime. After touring the south, he says he’s changing his mind.

Sablan previously estimated it would take weeks to restore power and services on the island but now says it will take months.

At least one person has died from Super Typhoon Yutu, which officials say is the most powerful storm to hit the United States this year.


12:10 p.m.

An elected official in the Northern Mariana Islands says he’s seeing people who lost everything but are thankful to be alive after a super typhoon his the U.S. territory.

Edwin Propst, a member of the territory’s House of Representatives, says many people lost the roofs of their houses and some had brand-new cars smashed by a collapsed garage.

Super Typhoon Yutu ripped storm shutters off his concrete home on the island of Saipan, shattered a glass sliding door and flooded his floors.

On the smaller island of Tinian, which took a direct hit, resident Juanita Mendiola says most of the homes have been destroyed. She rode out the storm in her bathroom and could feel her concrete home shaking.

The governor’s office says a 44-year-old woman died while taking shelter in a building that collapsed.


9:55 a.m.

The governor’s office says a super typhoon has killed one person when it slammed into the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

A post on the office’s Facebook page says a 44-year-old woman died while taking shelter in an abandoned building that collapsed during the strongest storm to hit any part of the U.S. this year.

Super Typhoon Yutu left devastation when it passed over the Pacific U.S. territory early Thursday local time. Government officials couldn’t immediately be reached for additional details early Friday.

The territory’s delegate to Congress said Thursday that the islands will need significant help to recover.

Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan says several people were injured and there were reports of people waiting at a hospital to be treated.


12 a.m.

It could be months before electricity is restored in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yutu, which crossed the Northern Mariana Islands as the strongest storm to hit any part of the U.S.

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is a U.S. territory that’s accustomed to strong storms. The National Weather Service says the Category 5 storm is among the strongest to hit one of the Mariana Islands in decades.

The island of Tinian took a direct hit, and catastrophic winds ravaged much of Saipan.

Saipan resident Glen Hunter says electricity went out hours before the storm crossed over early Thursday. He expects it will take months for power to be restored because it took four months after Typhoon Soudelor in 2015.

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up