Super Typhoon Hagibis has finally left the CNMI after passing north of Saipan and giving a glancing blow at Anatahan early Tuesday morning.
As of 2pm yesterday, acting governor Arnold I. Palacios gave the “All Clear” signal for Alamagan, Pagan, and Agrihan, based on the information of the U.S. National Weather Service in Tiyan, Guam, and at the advice of the CNMI Emergency Operations Center-State Warning Point.
Last Tuesday, Rota was given the “All Clear” signal at 5:30pm, while Saipan and Tinian were given the “All Clear” at 8pm. Super Typhoon Hagibis’ eye grazed the largely uninhabited Northern Islands very early Tuesday morning, before heading off on its destructive path toward Japan.
Although no “All Clear” signs were given Tuesday morning, teams from the Saipan Mayor’s Office, the Department of Public Safety, and the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services were mobilized to clear debris on roads, consisting mostly of fallen branches. Businesses were open as soon as destructive winds died down, as others waited for the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. to restore power and water to operate.
Super Typhoon Hagibis is the third Category 5 to threaten the Marianas in a span of just 12 months. The other two are Super Typhoon Yutu, which devastated Saipan and Tinian last October 2018; and Super Typhoon Wutip, which hit Guam and Rota last February.
According to an article by Jonathan Erdman, senior meteorologist at weather.com, Super Typhoon Hagibis set a record for its rapid rate of intensification from a tropical storm early Monday morning, to a Category 5 super typhoon by early Tuesday morning. This means that maximum sustained winds increased by 100 miles per hours in a span of just 24 hours.
All evacuation shelters are now closed and those who have requested to stay back were either moved to the Kagman shelter at the Kagman Community Center or the Aging Center.
CUC reported yesterday that Power Plant 1 in Lower Base is back online, and most areas have power. Water services have been mostly restored but repair work is ongoing in some areas and these are expected to be done by late afternoon yesterday.
As of 2pm Wednesday, Super Typhoon Hagibis was located 395 miles west-northwest of Pagan, 510 miles northwest of Saipan, and 555 miles north-northwest of Guam.
Super Typhoon Hagibis’ maximum sustained winds remain at 160 mph and is forecasted to maintain its intensity through the late evening hours of Wednesday and weaken by today.
NWS and EOC announced that they will continue to monitor the movement of Super Typhoon Hagibis.