Regional News

Super Typhoon Maysak pounces on Yap

HAGÅTÑA —   Super Typhoon Maysak ripped through Yap on Tuesday, having gathered strength after it devastated the neighboring islands of Chuuk. As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, Maysak’s sustained winds reached 160 mph.

The eye of the Super Typhoon Maysak was ​expected to pass through Yap state just north of Fais and Ulithi on Tuesday. Fais Island and Ulithi atoll are part of the Yap jurisdiction. A typhoon warning was in effect for both Fais and Ulithi and the rest of Yap and weather officials expected damaging winds of 39 mph or more to last through Wednesday morning.

The National Weather Service warned Yap residents of damaging seas of 25 to 35 feet and coastal inundation between 8 to 12 feet for Ulithi and Fais. Up to 12 inches of rain was expected to fall on the islands of Yap, with most rainfall expected on Fais, Ulithi and Yap proper.

Maysak also passed Faraulep, atoll, also part of Yap on Tuesday.

According to Manny Hechanova, assistant director of Telecommunication and Distance Education Operation at the University of Guam, communication from Faraulep on Tuesday morning relayed information that of the estimated 170 people on Faraulep, no injuries were reported. Hechanova operates the radio communication with islands across Micronesia.

He said most of the fruit trees in Faraulep were down and there was an immediate need for food, water, clothing and medical supplies.

“The next challenge is to find a boat to send the supplies. The distribution from the main islands to the remote islands is tough to schedule because of the rough seas that follow the typhoon,” Hechanova said. Fais and Ulithi residents were advised to prepare for 150 mph winds, seek shelter and gather enough food and water for several days.

The Ayuda Foundation is already looking to aid residents of Yap, according to Carlotta Leon Guerrero, executive director. “We know Yap is going to need it,” she added.

The nonprofit organization has partnered with Bank of Guam to purchase medical mission boxes that are packaged to help people in remote locations like parts of Chuuk and Yap as soon as Maysak moves out of the region.