Super Typhoon Yutu, with winds up to 180 mph, slams into the Northern Mariana Islands

Damage to a home in the Northern Mariana Islands caused by Super Typhoon Yutu.
(Image credit: Glen Hunter via AP)

Super Typhoon Yutu battered the Northern Mariana Islands on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, with meteorologists calling it the "Earth's strongest storm of 2018."

The Northern Mariana Islands is a commonwealth of the United States, in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. The storm brought maximum sustained winds of roughly 180 mph, with a storm surge of up to 20 feet and close to 10 inches of rain in some areas. There are no reports yet of any fatalities or serious injuries, but because of the hazardous weather conditions, official damage assessment likely won't start until Friday, The Guam Daily Post reports.

More than 50,000 people live in the Northern Mariana Islands. Joey Patrick San Nicolas, the mayor of Tinian, said the island "has been devastated. Many homes have been destroyed." The island does not have any power or water, and the ports are all inaccessible, the Post reports. The international airport in Saipan also sustained major damage, with photos showing pieces of the roof missing and airplanes stuck in fences. Officials said they are working quickly to clear the runway so emergency supplies can be delivered.

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