Guam Thrashed by Massive Typhoon

Trees are toppled on the road, in damage caused by Typhoon Mawar in Tamuning, Guam, May 25, 2023, in this screen grab obtained from a social media video. | Image by Tobias Alejandro, via REUTERS

A Category 4 typhoon impacted the U.S. Western Pacific island territory of Guam on Wednesday.

Typhoon Mawar hit the island on Wednesday evening, with the eye passing over the northern part of the island at about 8:45 p.m. local time (5:45 a.m. Wednesday CDT), as reported in a Facebook post by the National Weather Service in Guam.

Maximum sustained winds were measured at 140 mph, making Mawar a Category 4 cyclone.

The Dallas Express was able to speak with Bryan Hong, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Guam on what was early morning Thursday on the island to assess the impact of Mawar. Hong said that the island was on the “back end of [Mawar]” and that a damage assessment would be the next step. He was not aware of any casualties, but that it was still unsafe for the public to venture out of where they are sheltered.

The storm’s severity has caused most of the island to lose power, states a report by ABC News quoting the Guam Power Authority.

On Tuesday, Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero announced that residents should prepare for the typhoon by taking cover, per the ABC News report.

President Joe Biden issued an emergency declaration for the island territory, triggering broad federal assistance for the widespread damage that is anticipated.

The latest Facebook update by the National Weather Service of Guam reports that as of early Thursday morning in Guam, strong winds and heavy rain were continuing.

Typhoons and hurricanes are both tropical cyclones and are categorized on the same 1 to 5 rating system based on wind intensity. Which term is used depends on the location, with those occurring in the Northwest Pacific being called typhoons, and ones in the North Atlantic and Pacific Ocean closer to North America dubbed hurricanes.

Mawar may be the strongest typhoon to hit Guam since Super Typhoon Pongsona in 2002. Pongsona hit the island indirectly, but its 144 mph winds and gusts of 173 mph still caused $700 million in damage, per the ABC News report.

Since 2019, Guam has been in the path of 10 Category 4 and 5 typhoons.

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