Super Typhoon Yutu is striking parts of the Northern Mariana Islands in the Western Pacific Ocean and has become the strongest typhoon of record to pass near the U.S. territories of Saipan and Tinian.
The eye of Yutu has now pushed west of the islands of Saipan and Tinian in the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, located about 120 miles north-northeast of Guam.
Maximum sustained winds remain solidly Category 5 intensity, near 175 mph, as of the latest advisory from the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s FEMA announced Tuesday that federal emergency aid has been made available to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to supplement Commonwealth and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions in the area affected by Typhoon Yutu.
The President’s action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe.
Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Assistance for emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance under the Public Assistance program, will be provided at 75 percent federal funding for Rota, Saipan, Tinian and the Northern Islands municipalities.
Benigno Bern Ruiz has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal response operations in the affected area. Bern Ruiz said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of damage assessments.