Super Typhoon leaves trail of destruction across Pacific - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Super Typhoon leaves trail of destruction across Pacific

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Image courtesy of Wunderground.com Image courtesy of Wunderground.com

What began as a tropical depression near Pohnpei has evolved into a Category 5 Super Typhoon, as Maysak packs sustained winds of up to 160 miles per hour. The super typhoon has ravaged islands including Chuuk and Yap, with the eye passing over the atoll of Ulithi at 12am this morning. Reports from the islands have been minimal.

Executive director of the Ayuda Foundation, Carlotta Leon Guerrero said, "Manny reports that he got off the radio this morning with Wolei, he reported that Feis is okay, all persons are accounted for in Ulithi only Mogmog has been up on the radio so far and that initial report is that many houses were damaged and a lot of trees are down so it's the same story that we're hearing from the other islands in Chuuk, a lot of damage, crops, trees, and plants are destroyed - water wells and coconuts blown away." Although the typhoon warning for Ulithi was lifted at 11am this morning, the Federated States of Micronesia consulate confirms that a damage assessment has yet to be conducted on the islands that range 12-30 feet above sea level.

Pacific Missionary Aviation chief financial officer Melinda Espinosa said, "We're waiting for the weather to clear in Yap and tomorrow the first flight out will be to Ulithi to assess the damage." This flight will provide the first damage assessment of the islands.

Telecommunication and distance education operation associate director Manny Hechanova confirmed the last communication from the islands came at 3:30pm, in which the Ulithi island of Mogmog reported damaged, but no known injuries. Leon Guerrero said, "Thirst, food, medical supplies, clothing, building material, these are the same consistent items that we're hearing all the way though of what is needed."

The Ayuda Foundation plans to send out two 40-foot containers to Chuuk and Yap by next week Tuesday, as well as medical mission boxes that were donated by the Bank of Guam and will be flown in by United. Chuuk has declared a state of emergency as of Monday, with five confirmed deaths as well as extensive damage. Yap has yet to declare a state of emergency, but Leon Guerrero said it is anticipated.

But it doesn't end there.

"We're seeing it tracking toward Northern Luzon in the Philippines," said Espinosa.

The storm is weakening slightly and could reach the Philippines as soon as Sunday. If you would like to donate you can contact the Ayuda Foundation at 473-3003 or Pacific Missionary Aviation at 646-6464.

GOVERNOR EDDIE CALVO IS SENDING HIS PRAYERS TO THOSE AFFECTED BY MAYSAK IN OUR NEIGHBORING ISLANDS, saying, "My office with the president of the Federated States of Micronesia, I've seen my deepest regrets and prayers for those in Chuuk, we already know there's been five fatalities. We don't know how many injuries there's been, there's been a lot of damage, and we're just getting initial information on Yap and this just became a super typhoon. So with that, it's not only our offers for prayers and condolences, but we look forward to the days ahead to see what we can do to assist them in recovery whether it's in monetary areas or aid."

The Governor's Office adds that volunteers from various government and safety agencies will be holding a boot drive next week Friday to raise funds for those affected by Maysak. Senator Michael San Nicolas in the meantime together with the FSM Consul General's Office is accepting donations including clothing, household goods, nonperishable food items and monetary donations at his office in the DNA Building, Suite 407.

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