Typhoon Maysak tears through Micronesia
Emergency declarations have been made in the Federated States of Micronesia as typhoon Maysak continues to tear through the vast country.
Emergency declarations have been made in the Federated States of Micronesia as typhoon Maysak continues to tear through the wide-spanning island country.
The category five typhoon is bearing down on Yap state, with the atolls of Fais and Ulithi expected to be hit hard.
Jamie Tahana reports.
The typhoon gained intensity as it passed through Yap state, the westernmost of the Federated States of Micronesia.
It was predicted to pass to the north of the main Yap islands this morning.
A forecaster with the US National Weather Service on Guam, Derek Williams, says the atolls of Fais and Ulithi, and their combined population of just over a thousand, were expected to take a direct hit last night.
He says the typhoon has been reaching its peak intensity with winds of up to 250 kilometres an hour at its centre.
"I mean it's going to be a major, major typhoon for them, we expect around a 10-foot storm surge at Fais, and Ulithi, depending on the exact track, it could have anywhere between 6 to 10 feet. If it tracks directly over [Ulithi], the entire atoll could be underwater. So it's not a good situation."
A disaster official in Yap, Raymond Igechep, says people on the atolls sought shelter in concrete buildings such as churches and schools.
"We're expecting a full, hard impact on the islands by nightfall. As far as information relayed to us, people are mobilising to the community designated typhoon shelters. So I hope they are all OK when the typhoon hits."
Mr Igechep says there are reports of significant damage in the state's eastern islands.
"They took a full impact on the crops and trees and stuff like that but fortunately there were no lives lost. But it was total devastation on the environment."
Before moving to Yap, the typhoon passed over the neighbouring state of Chuuk on Sunday, causing serious damage to infrastructure, houses and crops.
This prompted governor Johnson Elimo to declare a state of emergency.
Five people are believed to have died in Chuuk, although the death toll remains unconfirmed.
The FSM President, Manny Mori, says a government vessel carrying relief supplies and medical personnel is bound for Chuuk, and another is bound for Yap.
But the director of the National Emergency Management Office, Andrew Yatilman, says the FSM is likely to need international assistance.
"There will be need from affected residents for either water, food supplies or whatever. And those are the things we will be needing assistance with. And as we have done in the past, we have always looked to regional as well as international communities for help"
Derek Williams from the US National Weather Service says Maysak is likely to weaken as it continues its path west towards the Philippines.
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