Saipan holds a special place in the hearts of the XTERRA Tribe so when the news and images from Typhoon Soudelor’s impact on the island started surfacing the social media accounts of XTERRA racers around the world lit-up with notes of prayer and encouragement for the people of the Northern Marianas.
Located in the middle of the Western Pacific Ocean – 1,300 miles south of Tokyo, 1,400 miles east of Manila, 3,200 miles west of Honolulu, and 2,900 miles north of Sydney, Saipan has been a staple on the XTERRA World Tour and dubbed the “Crown Jewel” since 2002. As such, a wealth of deep-rooted friendships have formed and the devastation caused by the storm was heartbreaking.
The good news is there have been no casualties reported from Saipan after the “strongest tropical cyclone on Earth this year” rolled directly over the island two days ago.
A weather.com report explains how “high winds downed power poles, removed roofs off buildings and flooded Saipan's power plant. About 500 people were in emergency shelters, as of Thursday morning, the Red Cross told the Associated Press.”
Officials are expecting the power to be out for perhaps two months.
If you’d like to help out our many friends in Saipan perhaps the best way is to make a specific donation to the Saipan chapter of the American Red Cross. Click here for a donation form and be specific on the form and on your check to have it applied to the Saipan Typhoon Soudelor relief fund.