Super Typhoon Yutu, the strongest storm on Earth in 2018, slammed into the Northern Mariana Islands in the western Pacific Ocean on Wednesday. The storm savagely battered the islands of Tinian, Saipan and Rota, with the eye completely engulfing Tinian at midday Wednesday. Super Typhoon Yutu is estimated to contain maximum sustained winds of at least 180 miles per hour, with higher gusts.
Why it matters: This storm is the strongest typhoon ever to strike the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and likely the strongest ever to strike the U.S. and its territories. “This is an historically significant event,” tweeted Michael Lowry, a FEMA hurricane specialist.