On Thursday, Super Typhoon Yuto plowed into the US Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands. With sustained winds of 180 mph and gusts above 200 mph, Yutu was the strongest storm to hit any part of the United States this year. The AP reports that devastation on the islands is extreme. At least one person has died, and even though the islands are used to surviving strong storms, the size and destructive power of Yutu has left thousands of Americans homeless and facing widespread power outages.
As USA Today reports, a humanitarian crisis is looming. On the islands of Tinian, which at one point was completely contained within the eye of the storm, even concrete homes have been “reduced to rubble.”
Northern Mariana Governor Ralph Torres has sent an emergency request to FEMA for “immediate humanitarian relief.” The islands need food, water, shelter, medical supplies, building materials—everything.
The Weather Network is warning that a “long recovery” is ahead for islands—American islands, populated by American citizens—battered by this storm.
Authorities in the Northern Mariana Islands called for urgent supplies and equipment on Friday and were preparing for weeks without power after being hit by their most powerful typhoon in half a century, killing one woman and causing widespread destruction.
Hopefully, it will only be weeks. Based on FEMA’s record in Puerto Rico, that would be a good outcome. In the meantime, the Red Cross is helping and could use assistance.
Though he spent the morning fretting about a conspiracy theory that Twitter was out to get him, Trump has not seen fit to mention Typhoon Yutu or the Mariana Islands. In fact, he hasn’t mentioned them since election day. Which might make results for Americans there … different next time around.
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