Yutu flattened over 500 homes


The giant monster that was Super Typhoon Yutu was so wide that, at one point, it completely enclosed the Marianas archipelago, pounding the CNMI for over eight hours with maximum sustained winds of over 180 mph and completely destroying over 500 homes, leaving over 1,000 individuals homeless.

Three days later, last Sunday, in an aerial damage assessment by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and CNMI leaders, it was determined that a total of 545 homes across the Marianas have been completely destroyed. A total of 468 homes sustained major damage.

On Saipan, 462 homes were in complete ruins. A total of 317 homes sustained major damage, making them inhabitable.

In a previous interview with John Hirsch, American Red Cross-NMI Chapter executive director, he said that over 900 individuals are in local shelters because their homes were left either completely destroyed or are so badly damaged that they are not habitable.

The assessment on Saipan covered the villages of Kagman 1, 2, 3, Lau Lau, Susupe, Chalan Kanoa, San Antonio, Koblerville, Dandan, and San Vicente.

Power remains out on most of Saipan, with gas lines stretching two miles, extensive damage to critical infrastructure noted in southern Saipan, and dozens of downed power poles and lines.

Tinian, which bore the brunt of Super Typhoon Yutu, has 70 completely destroyed homes and a total of 113 homes that sustained major damage. The Tinian Health Center sustained extensive damage.

The Tinian assessment covered the villages of San Jose, House of Taga, Carolinas, Marpo Vallley, and Marpo Heights.

Tinian still has no power and it’s estimated to take three months before 50 percent of the island’s power is restored.

The island of Rota sustained the least amount of damage from Super Typhoon Yutu, but still sustained 13 destroyed homes and 38 homes with major damage. The assessment covered the villages of Songsong and Sinapalo.

Rota, which just had its power restored soon after Typhoon Mangkhut hit the island over a month ago, is again without power islandwide.

According to a statement from the CNMI Joint Information Center, Saipan, Tinian, and Rota experienced very heavy rainfall and extremely high winds that caused damage to homes, businesses, and critical infrastructure.

Utility infrastructures on all three islands were severely impacted and downed power lines, transformers, and poles were seen.
Driving conditions also remain hazardous as debris removal operations are still underway.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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