US declares disaster as typhoon passes north of Saipan

October 8, 2019 GMT

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (AP) — President Donald Trump is declaring an emergency for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and ordering the U.S. government to help local authorities respond to a typhoon.

The Pacific Daily News reports the eye of Typhoon Hagibis passed over Anatahan Island, about 80 miles (130 miles) north of Saipan, early Tuesday.

The National Weather Service says a typhoon warning is in effect for Saipan and Tinian islands. The agency cancelled a tropical storm warning for Guam, which is further to the south. The newspaper reports 140 residents on Guam used emergency shelters.

The president’s declaration authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts.

The typhoon was 180 miles (290 kilometers) northwest of Saipan with maximum sustained winds of 160 mph (260 kph) midday Tuesday.