Tinian destruction: 10 out of 10

Photo by Edwin Sta. Theresa

On the smaller island of Tinian, which took a direct hit from Super Typhoon Yutu, most of the houses were destroyed, and even some concrete ones were reduced to rubble, resident Juanita Mendiola said.

“We had to hide inside the bathroom because the house felt like it was going to blow apart,” she said. “It was literally shaking—a concrete house shaking.”

The storm ripped a door of its hinges and flung it more than 100 feet away into a pigsty, she said.

Tinian Mayor Joey Patrick San Nicolas said many homes have been destroyed and the island’s physical infrastructure has been compromised.

“We have no power or water, our ports are currently inaccessible, and several other points in other parts of the island are also currently inaccessible,” he said.

He said 30 people had been rescued by the island’s emergency responders and 70 people are currently sheltering at Tinian’s evacuation centers.

San Nicolas added that he has deployed Department of Public Safety and Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services personnel to undergo rescue operations based on communications the mayor’s office received throughout the night.

These requests include rescue for people trapped in their homes and people wishing to be transported to the island’s two emergency shelters—the Tinian Elementary School and the Tinian Gymnasium.

“Access to several critical areas of the island is also difficult so we have deployed several heavy equipment to the [Department of Public Works] and reaching out to the private sector so they can push debris aside so we can have access to critical points throughout the islands,” he added.

The critical points San Nicolas mentioned were the emergency shelters, the airport, the command control shelter, and the Tinian Health Clinic.

“We’ve been hit hard and we have yet to make a preliminary assessment. We will provide that to authorities as soon as possible,” he said, while asking the Tinian community to remain calm and practice utmost safety.

Edwin Sta. Theresa said the island felt the brunt of the super typhoon. Initial assessment by the 49-year-old X-ray technician at the Tinian Health Clinic, rated the level of destruction to the island as “10 out of 10.”

Sta. Theresa said a lot of Tinian residents lost their homes in account of their roofs succumbing to Yutu’s ferocious winds.

Several cars were also smashed by debris and some even flipped. (With AP)

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at Mark_Rabago@saipantribune.com

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