Travel Alert October 2019: Super Typhoon Hagibis Impacts Northern Mariana Islands; Affects Guam

If the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam are in your travel plans over the next few days, you may want to consider delaying your travel — or, at least, keep yourself updated as to the latest information pertaining to the weather — due to Super Typhoon Hagibis.

Travel Alert October 2019: Super Typhoon Hagibis Impacts Northern Mariana Islands; Affects Guam

Super Typhoon Hagibis

Super Typhoon Hagibis heads west northwest in the Pacific Ocean before it turns northeast towards Japan. The Mariana Islands are outlined in purple. Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce of the United States.

Maximum sustained winds of this storm — which is located approximately 200 miles northeast of Guam and is moving west northwest at approximately 18 miles per hour — are 160 miles per hour, with wind gusts of up to 195 miles per hour, which means that Super Typhoon Hagibis is currently a  Category 5 typhoon after it was merely a tropical storm only 24 hours earlier.

Upon relying on the visible animated satellite image shown above, the eye of Super Typhoon Hagibis appears to narrowly dodge just to the south of the island of Anatahan in the Northern Mariana Islands, which means that although the uninhabited island will have likely sustained catastrophic damage, the event does not count as a landfall.

A typhoon warning has been issued by the National Weather Service of the United States for Saipan, Tinian, Alamagan and Pagan islands in the Northern Mariana Islands; while a tropical storm warning is also in effect for Guam, Rota and Agrihan islands — meaning that the greatest threats from this storm to these areas include heavy precipitation, coastal flooding, strong winds, rough seas, pounding surf, and possible mudslides along coastal areas.

The first landfall of what should be a downgraded Typhoon Hagibis may occur on the coast of southeastern Japan on the evening of Saturday, October 12, 2019 with maximum sustained winds predicted to be 105 miles per hour — and as of now, Tokyo is squarely in the path of this storm.

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If you are traveling to the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam over the next few days, expect delays and cancellations of flights. Keep up to date on the latest information pertaining to this tropical weather system which may adversely affect your travel plans. Better yet, postponing or canceling your trip might be a better option — no matter which mode of travel you plan on taking.

If you have a flight scheduled, your flight may be delayed or canceled — and you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary. If you are driving in any of these areas, watch out for deteriorating weather conditions and traffic problems.

United Airlines is the only airline which has officially issued travel alerts for Guam and Saipan for Monday, October 7, 2019 through Tuesday, October 8, 2019; and Thursday, October 10, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin — but flights of other airlines have been canceled or delayed as a result of Super Typhoon Hagibis, as shown at the official Internet web site of Guam International Airport. Those other airlines include Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Air Seoul, Jeju Air and China Airlines.

No word has been given pertaining to flights to and from Saipan International Airport; but assume that flights are canceled or delayed there as well.

Summary

Be sure to contact your airline or transportation provider for the latest information pertaining to your travels — if they are adversely affected — and please: travel safely.

Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce of the United States.

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