(AP) — Residents of the Northern Mariana Islands braced Friday for months without electricity or running water after the strongest storm to hit any part of the United States this year devastated the U.S. territory, killing one person, officials said. 

Even after Super Typhoon Yutu had moved away from the Pacific islands, emergency management officials warned residents to stay indoors because downed power lines blocked roadways and winds were still strong enough to make driving dangerous.

A 44-year-old woman taking shelter in an abandoned building died when it collapsed in the storm, a post on the governor’s office Facebook page said. Officials couldn’t immediately be reached for additional details.

Debris is scattered after Super Typhoon Yutu hit the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 in Garapan, Saipan. Residents of the U.S. territory braced Thursday for months without electricity or running water after the islands were slammed with the strongest storm to hit any part of the U.S. this year. (AP Photo/Dean Sensui)

Debris is scattered after Super Typhoon Yutu hit the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands on Thursday in Garapan, Saipan.

AP

The territory will need significant help to recover from the storm that injured several people, said Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, the territory’s delegate to Congress. He said Thursday that there were reports of injuries and that people were waiting to be treated at a hospital on the territory’s largest and most populated island, Saipan.

Sablan said most of the structures in the southern part of Saipan lost their roofs and many, including a high school, were “completely destroyed.”

“This damage is just horrendous, it’s going to take months and months for us to recover,” he said by phone.

Even the plants were torn up, he said: “There are no shrubs, they’re all gone. There are no leaves.”

On the smaller island of Tinian, which took a direct hit, most of the houses were destroyed, even some concrete ones reduced to rubble, resident Juanita Mendiola said.

“We had to hide inside the bathroom because the house felt like it was going to blow apart,” she said. “It was literally shaking — a concrete house shaking.”

Debris is scattered after Super Typhoon Yutu hit the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018, in Garapan, Saipan. Residents of the U.S. territory braced Thursday for months without electricity or running water after the islands were slammed with the strongest storm to hit any part of the U.S. this year. (AP Photo/Dean Sensui)

Another scene in Garapan, Saipan.

AP

The islands’ emergency management agency was “deploying resources to clear our roadways so first responders can begin assisting residents who have lost their homes and for those who need transport to seek medical attention or transportation to the nearest shelter,” spokeswoman Nadine Deleon Guerrero said in a statement.

Sablan said has not been able to reach officials on the islands of Tinian and Rota because phones and power are out. “It’s going to take weeks probably to get electricity back to everybody,” he said.

The electricity on Saipan, about 3,800 miles west of Hawaii, went out at 4 p.m. Wednesday, resident Glen Hunter said. He said he doesn’t expect getting back power for months, recalling how it took four months to restore electricity after Typhoon Soudelor in 2015.

Maximum sustained winds of 180 mph were recorded around the eye of the storm, which passed over Tinian and Saipan early Thursday local time, the weather service said.

Sablan said colleagues in Congress have reached out to offer help and he expects a presidential disaster declaration to free up resources for storm relief.

Recovery efforts on Saipan and Tinian will be slow, said Aydlett of the weather service.

“This is the worst-case scenario. This is why the building codes in the Marianas are so tough,” he said. “This is going to be the storm which sets the scale for which future storms are compared to.”

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