Pacific island chain asks Trump to declare emergency as typhoon strikes

GUAM – The governor of the Northern Mariana Islands has urged US President Donald Trump to declare a state of emergency as a typhoon struck the US Western Pacific territories overnight and caused blackouts and damaged buildings.

Typhoon Mangkhut passed through the US Pacific archipelago with speeds of over 100 mph (160 kph) and a team from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was on Tuesday carrying out an initial damage assessment.

Guam is home to US air force and naval bases and an estimated 7,000 troops. A two-week exercise "Valiant Shield" involving thousands of US personnel based in the Western Pacific region had been due to start on Monday.

There were no immediate reports of casualties there nor on nearby Guam, where a US military spokesman said forces were ready to help local authorities and FEMA on the chain of 15 islands, located between Hawaii and the Philippines.

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