Typhoon Maysak Strikes Central Pacific Islands

Philippines // Photo by Jojo Nicdao via Flickr

Julian Ryall Tokyo, The Daily Telegraph, April 1, 2015

A weather system destroyed 95 percent of buildings on Chuuk and is expected to hit Philippines

A super typhoon struck the remote state of Chuuk on Sunday, killing five and destroying an estimated 95 percent of the buildings – which are primarily constructed of tin sheeting – on the islands.

The weather system, named Maysak, hit islands in the central Pacific and is bearing down on the island of Yap and the Philippines .

Communications links to the islands, which are part of the Federated States of Micronesia and have some 50,000 residents, were temporarily knocked out.

"Yap must prepare; Chuuk was devastated”, Kembo Mida, a resident of Chuuk told the Marianas Variety newspaper.

"Houses were blown away and trees snapped in half. It was very dangerous and scary."

Another resident, Hiroyuki Mori, said: “I was lucky I have a concrete house. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for many of my fellow Chuukese.

“Ships have sunk, homes are destroyed and breadfruit, mangoes, bananas and coconuts – our local source of food – [have been] trimmed down to just stems and branches”, he said.

Maysak has since tracked to the west and is reportedly close to the low-lying islands of Yap, Fais and Ulithi. Wind speeds are around 150mph and gusting up to 180mph, according to the National Weather Service on Guam, and it is feared that the storm surge could inundate the coral atolls.

“The weather conditions are deteriorating rapidly”, Derek Williams, a meteorologist based on Guam told The Associated Press.

With Ulithi just 12 feet above sea level and Fais rising to just 30 feet, “The entire island could be covered in water from storm surge,” Mr Williams said.

The storm is expected to hold its course to the west and could make landfall in the Philippines on Sunday.

“Its official track has it straight toward Luzon," Mr Williams said. The storm should weaken but it is still expected to cause widespread damage, including flooding, he said.

The super typhoon comes just weeks after cyclone Pam lashed the Pacific islands of Vanuatu, killing at least 11 people and leaving more than 3,300 homeless as 90 per cent of buildings were either destroyed or damaged.


This article was written by Julian Ryall Tokyo from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.