Chris Lange, FISM News
Super Typhoon Mawar struck the northern edge of Guam on Wednesday, lashing the tiny U.S. territory with winds of 140 miles per hour (mph) and heavy rains, the National Weather Service said. Power was cut off for most of the island.
The NSW said Tuesday evening that “the storm would be the strongest in three decades to impact the U.S. island.”
Super Typhoon Mawar producing wind speeds of 140+ mph is headed directly toward Guam. This storm would be the strongest in three decades to impact the U.S. island. Hang tough, Guam! #ncwx #scwx #gawx #cltwx pic.twitter.com/9dc1XIRyTr
— NWS GSP (@NWSGSP) May 23, 2023
The slow-moving Category 4 storm crossed the Rota Channel near Andersen Air Force Base, damaging wind-speed indicators in the process, the weather service noted in a Facebook Live broadcast. There were no early reports of deaths or injuries.
Rain fell at the rate of two inches per hour overnight, prompting flash flood warnings. The NSW alerted residents to the possibility of landslides and a life-threatening storm surge.
“I’m very worried for our people’s safety and very concerned,” Guam‘s Governor Lou Leon Guerrero told National Public Radio Wednesday.
Guerrero said that she was aware that houses were damaged and that a rescue mission transported eight people to a storm shelter, adding that she will undertake a damage assessment after winds had subsided.
“It was pretty scary going into a Category 4 to almost a Super Typhoon, but our people are very resilient,” she added.
‘THE BUILDING IS SHUTTERING FROM THE WIND’
Throughout the night, island residents posted video clips on social media showing flying debris, damaged cars, and palm trees bending and breaking under the powerful winds. The rain grew so heavy at times that it produced near-white-out conditions.
One clip showed a truck swept up by powerful winds as it rolled across a parking lot.
The parking lot at my apartment a little while ago as the eye of #super #typhoon #mawar slams #Guam. Lots of us have relocated to the basement. All the units totally flooded, several windows blown out, and the building is shuddering from the wind. pic.twitter.com/IoBSuoTBA2
— Ginger Cruz (@gingercruz) May 24, 2023
Guam resident Ginger Cruz, who posted the video, tweeted separately: “Lots of us have relocated to the basement. All the units [are] totally flooded, several windows blown out, and the building is shuddering from the wind.”
BIDEN APPROVES EMERGENCY DECLARATION
President Biden approved an emergency declaration for Guam Tuesday evening, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster relief efforts.
Guam is home to around 170,000 Americans, about 6,000 miles west of Los Angeles.