Yutu ruin as massive as Soudelor


In almost eerily similar scenes, Super Typhoon Yutu’s destruction on Saipan was just as massive and widespread as the scenes left behind by Typhoon Soudelor three years ago.

“Yutu was more powerful than Soudelor and it lasted [longer],” said Juan, a resident of As Terlaje who asked that he be named by his first name only.

The tin roof of Juan’s house was ripped apart and flown several feet away. It was later seen dangling from the tree of a neighbor’s adjacent lot.

Leny, a Susupe resident who also asked that she be named by her first name only, managed to sleep for only two hours as the howling wind kept pounding on the two plywoods that were boarded on the glass windows of her apartment unit.

Yutu’s strong winds later blew away the boards. She is just thankful that the glass did not shatter.

The winds were so powerful that a container parked near the Bureau of Motor Vehicles was dragged across the road and flipped on its right side, crashing into two police vehicles that were parked behind the Department of Public Safety building in Susupe.

In front of the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library, a white Ford Transit vehicle was seen flipped on its left side yesterday on a gutter. Its windshield was shattered.

At the Northern Marianas College, the tin roof of the gymnasium and several classrooms and buildings were blown away. Tin roofs, bent metal, and shattered glass littered the campus.

Near the NMC traffic light, a fire hydrant was busted, throwing gallons of water into the air and passing vehicles.

Similar to Soudelor’s destruction on Monsignor Guerrero Road, wooden power poles of the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. lay toppled like dominos on As Terlaje Hill all the way to Mobil Station in Chalan Lau Lau on the same road.

The concrete poles that CUC had replaced the wooden power poles with on the opposite side of Chalan Monsignor Guerrero Road after Soudelor were still standing but in a slanting position.

It was the same situation along Beach Road and other villages. Concrete poles were not toppled but were now in slanting positions.

Despite winds that were still blowing hard and the driving rain, many people have already volunteered as early as 7am yesterday to cut the fallen trees that were blocking many secondary roads.

People however did not touch the toppled CUC power poles blocking the roads.

Many cars had shattered windshields and windows, and had dents caused by flying debris, mostly tin roofs and tree branches.

Many large trees on Beach Road were uprooted. Authorities were fast enough to clear the highways of fallen trees and other debris.

The Saipan commuter terminal was demolished and would take months to repair.

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 ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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