Many found restrooms the safest


For many people, their restrooms became their refuge for several horrifying hours during Super Typhoon Yutu’s fury.

In an apartment in Finasisu, eight people squeezed inside a restroom measuring only about one meter wide and three meters in length.

Mariano Postoriogo, 45, a construction worker, said they were all wet and praying inside the restroom as powerful winds pounded on their apartment units.

“I thought it was my end. I was thinking of my family back in the Philippines,” said Postoriogo in Tagalog.

He said he was inside his small apartment unit when strong winds blew away the tin roof of his room, then a concrete wall next to his room collapsed Wednesday at 11pm.

This prompted Postoriogo to get out of his unit. He and seven others living in the same apartment almost simultaneously barged inside the common restroom.

He said they became all wet as the tin roof of the bathroom itself got blown away. A dangling ceiling plywood protected their heads from rain and flying debris.

At 2am Thursday, they all felt it was not safe in the restroom anymore, so they all got out. They gathered along the apartment’s hallway, which was protected by concrete walls.

Michael Miguel, 41, also a construction worker, was among the eight who sought refuge in the restroom. He said the tin roof of his unit was ripped apart so he decided to run outside.

Soaked in rain, Miguel was fervently praying while holding on to his valuable possession—a bag that contained his passport, CW visa, money, and other documents.

Like Postoriogo, Miguel thought it was his end and kept thinking about his children in the Philippines.

The two men’s appliances and clothes became all wet.

In Chalan Kanoa, a man who asked to be named Rey said he and his family locked themselves inside their restroom for several hours as their house was completely destroyed around them. After the typhoon, only the restroom was still standing in the rubble.

Rey and his family later proceeded to the Saipan Southern High School shelter.

Those in concrete apartment units were also not spared.

Nadine, a resident of Susupe, said she stayed in the bathroom for about three hours as the glass windows of her unit shattered.

“It was a horrifying experience,” said Nadine, who just arrived on Saipan from the U.S. mainland a few months ago.

For others, the low barometric pressure of Yutu contributed to glass windows being shattered. “My windows were actually fine until I opened the door to the bedroom to check and that’s when the windows shattered,” said a resident of Finasisu Terraces. He eventually sought refuge in his unit’s restroom, to escape flying shards of glass. The low barometric pressure also caused many to have painful eardrums and to hear popping sounds.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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