Typhoon Mawar Lashes Guam With High Winds, Knocking Out Power

Hurricane Mawar brought hurricane-force winds as it swept through Guam on Wednesday, toppling trees, raising fears of flash flooding and leaving much of the United States without power.

Weather forecasters warned the storm, with the strength of a Category 4 hurricane, was the strongest storm to hit the Pacific island in years and could strengthen Wednesday night. Guam’s Electricity Authority said the island’s grid only supplied power to about 1,000 of its roughly 52,000 customers as of Wednesday afternoon and it was too dangerous for repair crews to venture out.

There were no reports of casualties. But the storm was so powerful that it disrupted radar equipment that sends meteorological data to the local National Weather Service office – and caused the largest tree outside the building to collapse in its driveway.

About 150,000 people living on Guam, an island roughly the size of Chicago about 1,500 miles east of the Philippines, are used to tropical storms. The most recent major storm, Super Typhoon Pongsona, made landfall in 2002 with the strength of a Category 4 hurricane and caused more than 700 million USD in damage.

Stronger building codes and other advances have reduced damage and deaths from major hurricanes on Guam in recent years. Wayne Chargualaf, 45, who works at the local government’s housing authority, said in most cases, “We just barbecue, relax, acclimatise” when a tropical storm hits blow over.

But since it’s been so long since Pongsona, “We have a whole generation that hasn’t been through this,” he added. “So a little doubt started creeping into my mind. Are we really ready for this?”

The center of Mawar appeared to be bending westward over the northern part of Guam in the early hours of Wednesday evening, said Brandon Bukunt, a meteorologist with the Weather Service in Guam. He added that although the storm is unlikely to officially make landfall, its treacherous southern wall is moving through the central and northern parts of the island.

“The center doesn’t need to land to have dire scenarios or really impact,” Mr Bukunt said by phone, after the Weather Service issued a rare warning. “Strong wind warning” for the northern part of Guam on Wednesday night. Guam is 14 hours before Eastern Time.

The storm’s slow pace, about three miles per hour, increased the likelihood of heavy rain and flooding. ONE flash flood warning in effect until early Thursday morning and the Weather Service said in an update Up to 25 inches of rain is expected in some areas.

President biden declare a state of emergency for Guam on Tuesday, allows federal agencies to support relief efforts. Local authorities also issued evacuation orders and halted commercial airline operations.

The storm also affected the US military, which has several key facilities on the island. All military aircraft there either left the island before the storm or were put into protective hangars, said Lieutenant Cmdr. Katie Koenig of the US Navy said in a statement on Wednesday. She said all military ships had also left, with the exception of one that remained in port due to engine problems.

Tropical cyclones are called storm or storm depending on where they originate. Typhoons, which tend to form from May to October, are tropical cyclones that develop in the northwest Pacific and affect Asia. Studies say that climate change has increase the intensity of such stormsand potentially destructive, because warmer oceans provide more energy to power them.

Mawar, whose Malaysian name means “rose”, is the second named storm in the Western Pacific this season. Firstly, Tropical Storm Sanvuweakened in less than two days.

Mawar is expected to move towards the Philippines over the next few days, but not before leaving a trail of destruction across Guam.

Carlo Sgembelluri Pangelinan, 42, who sells container homes in a shop in Barrigada Heights, an affluent, hilly residential area near Guam International Airport, said he doubts the storm will be worse than anything. what he’s been through.

However, he added, he’s worried about people who don’t have a proper place to live and animals that don’t have owners to take care of them.

island population mostly Catholicand the Roman Catholic church in Guam said in a message to parishioners Wednesday that the fear and anxiety that enveloped the island was understandable, in part because Super Typhoon Pongsona left an “impression” hard to fade” that more than 20 years later people can still feel it. Later.

The message read: “There are good things to be found in the midst of storms. “The kindness and concern of people that show up during such challenges is one of them.”

John Yoon, Victoria Kim, McKenna Oxenden And Kim Yu Young contribution report.


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