The super typhoon that devastated the Northern Mariana Islands on Oct. 24-25 has passed, but the roughly 50,000 residents of the U.S. territory now face the challenge of rebuilding and restoring services to the hard-hit islands of Saipan and Tinian.
The 180-mph winds of Super Typhoon Yutu, which left 1 dead and 133 injured, makes it the fifth highest wind speed ever at the time of striking land. Many residents may face months without electricity or running water.
HOW TO HELP: The American Red Cross has staff in the area, with more on the way, to help assess the damage and provide relief supplies. Donate at redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Learn more.
Here are the latest developments, as reported by the Saipan Tribune:
SCHOOLS CLOSED: Schools may take 2 to 8 weeks to reopen.
ELECTION POSTPONED: Gov. Ralph Torres announced on Monday, Oct. 29 that the general election scheduled for Nov. 6 has been postponed to Nov. 13.
ALL CLEAR: "Gov. Ralph Torres gave the 'all clear' sign at 8 a.m. Friday (Oct. 26) as recovery and relief efforts are now under way on Saipan and Tinian, with Super Typhoon Yutu moving westward away from the Marianas."
INJURIES REPORTED: The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. reported 133 injuries, mostly lacerations, on the island of Saipan.
TINIAN LEVELED: A resident of the smaller, nearby island of Tinian called the level of destruction "10 out of 10" from a direct hit by the typhoon that leveled houses.
GOOD NEIGHBORS: The Guam Daily Post reports that Guam residents are giving time, money and relief goods to help the people of Tinian and Saipan.
MESSAGE OF HOPE: “The winds and rain were strong, and they have tested our spirits.,” said Gov. Torres. “But what we suffer through together, we will overcome together." Read more
EMERGENCY REQUESTS: Gov. Torres announced that the President has approved the Governor's request for an emergency declaration, which authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide assistance. In addition, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has declared a public health emergency.