Typhoon in Micronesia strongest of 2015

4:17 pm on 4 August 2015

Typhoon Soudelor, which formed last Thursday near Guam, is picking up strength and is now the strongest cyclone in the world this year.

Soudelor battered the Northern Marianas on Sunday night, wrecking buildings and leaving hundreds in shelters.

It had winds of up to 170 kilometres an hour but the storm now has winds of up to 285 kilometres an hour, making it stronger than Pam, which caused widespread destruction in Vanuatu in March.

Car in Saipan left upside down by Typhoon Soudelor

Car in Saipan left upside down by Typhoon Soudelor Photo: Facebook

The Joint Typhoon Warning Centre says it is now a category 5 cyclone and it is predicting the typhoon will intensify further to 295 kilometres.

It is tracking towards the Okinawa Islands of southern Japan.

Saipan took the brunt of the storm as it passed over the CNMI and 350 people are in shelters, but there is also damage on Tinian, Rota and the northern islands.

The CNMI government declared a state of emergency yesterday afternoon.

Damage on Saipan in CNMI from Typhoon Soudelor

Damage in CNMI from Typhoon Soudelor Photo: Facebook

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