Super Typhoon Yutu slammed into the US territory of the Northern Mariana Islands on Thursday destroying homes and cutting power and water to thousands of residents.
The storm strengthened into the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane with sustained wind speeds of 280 kph before hitting the islands. It is now tracking northwest toward the Philippines and Taiwan, reports CNN news.
Yutu is the strongest storm on record to hit the remote island communities of Saipan and Tinian, the largest of the Mariana Islands, home to about 55,000 people.
It's also one of the strongest storms to ever hit a US territory and one of the strongest tropical cyclones on the planet this year.
Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands authorities issued a weather warning late Wednesday, cautioning residents on Saipan and Tinian that storm surges "pose life-threatening risk for those living along the coast".
Once the world's biggest air base, Tinian island is known for being the launching point for the atomic bomb attacks against Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan in August 1945.
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