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The eye of Super Typhoon Yutu swallowed the tiny island of Tinian on Oct. 24, 2018. Image: NOAA/CIMSS.

Super Typhoon Yutu struck the Northern Mariana Islands on October 24, packing maximum sustained winds of 180 miles per hour and gusts higher than 200 mph. This made it the most intense storm to strike U.S. soil since at least 1935, and one of the strongest storms ever measured on Earth.

The big picture: Before and after satellite photos taken by DigitalGlobe's WorldView-3 satellite provide a first look at the devastation the storm brought to the islands of Tinian and Saipan in particular.

At one point, the eye of Super Typhoon Yutu completely engulfed Tinian. Meteorologists are combing through the debris for clues as to how high the winds actually got, since no anemometer survived the onslaught to provide accurate readings.

Damage on Tinian from Super Typhoon Yutu. Satellite images ©2018 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company.

The scale and severity of the damage appears similar to the damage caused by Category 4 Hurricane Michael in the Florida Panhandle, which struck earlier this month. Homes and infrastructure appear to be torn apart, some stripped down to their foundations.

Closeup of damage from Super Typhoon Yutu on the island of Tinian. Satellite images ©2018 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company.

Home to about 50,000, the Northern Mariana Islands played a prominent role during World War II. For example, the U.S. B-29 bombing raids that dropped nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, took off from Tinian.

Damage to Saipan International Airport from Super Typhoon Yutu. Satellite images ©2018 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company.
Closeup of damage to homes on Saipan from Super Typhoon Yutu. Satellite images ©2018 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company.

President Trump signed a federal disaster declaration for the Northern Mariana Islands on Saturday, allowing for the speeding up of aid to the islands. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar also designated a public health emergency for the islands, prompting more than two dozen medical workers to deploy to the region.

Damage to the southwestern side of Saipan from Super Typhoon Yutu. Satellite image ©2018 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company.
Closeup of damage to buildings on the southwest side of Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands. Satellite image ©2018 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company.

The storm is not done causing damage yet. It's now expected to make a second landfall on the island of Luzon in the Philippines on October 31, followed by a possible strike on the Chinese mainland soon thereafter.

Go deeper:

Super Typhoon Yutu heads for second landfall in Philippines

One of the strongest-ever storms strikes the Northern Mariana Islands

Go deeper

47 mins ago - World

HRW: Over 100 former Afghan security members dead or missing under Taliban rule

Members of the Taliban movement patrol Kabul's airport in September. Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS via Getty Images

The Taliban have "killed or forcibly disappeared" over 100 former members of Afghanistan's security forces since the group took power in August, a Human Rights Watch report published Tuesday found.

Why it matters: It means former military members and officials from the ousted government, activists and other Taliban critics are facing peril amid executions driven by revenge — despite Taliban promises of an "amnesty" with no retributions, notes the New York Times, which first reported the news.

2 hours ago - World

Barbados becomes a republic, replacing U.K. queen with president

Combination images of Dame Sandra Mason, president of Barbados, and Britain's Prince Charles at her swearing-in ceremony in Bridgetown, Barbados, late Monday.

Barbados officially became a republic at midnight local time after Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as the Caribbean nation's first president in a ceremony attended by the United Kingdom's Prince Charles.

Why it matters: Mason replaced Britain's Queen Elizabeth as head of state Tuesday — removing the country's final remaining colonial tie to the U.K. almost 400 years after the first British ships arrived in Barbados.

Right-wingers making McCarthy sweat for future Speaker post

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stands with his Republican colleagues outside the House on Nov. 17. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Right-wing elements in the Republican Party are complicating House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's attempts to become the next speaker of the House should the GOP take back the majority in 2022.

Why it matters: While McCarthy has worked carefully to build trust among the conservatives who tanked his chances at clinching the speakership in 2015, they're still circling ahead of the next Speaker vote in January 2023.