At its peak, Super Typhoon Meranti was the second strongest ever recorded in the Northwest Pacific. The tiny island of Itbayat that lies in the waters between Taiwan and the Philippines was no match for Meranti’s massive size and strength. As the storm passed over the island, the whole of Itbayat could be seen in the clear, calm eye of the storm. Just outside of the eye, winds in the eyewall were sustained at 185 mph. That means Itbayat was hit not once, but twice by the damaging gusts upwards of 200 mph. Wave heights were estimated up to 46 feet. A devastating blow to the island of about 3,000 people.
— WeatherNation (@WeatherNation) September 15, 2016
PAGASA, the Phillippine equivalent to the National Weather Service has a satellite station on the island. The last contact from that office was midnight on September 13. Telecommunication services on the island are still down. Originally, so flights were allowed over the area, so a Coast Guard or Navy vessel was scheduled to assess the damage to Itbayat. A team of ten people are now scheduled to fly to the island on a fact-finding mission Thursday morning.