Typhon Mawar, a Category Four typhoon, is expected to hit the US territory of Guam with potentially catastrophic winds. The storm is packing maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour, and local authorities have issued evacuation orders and opened temporary shelters. US President Joe Biden has declared a state of emergency on the island of 170,000 people, paving the way for federal aid. Guam’s Office of Civil Defense urged motorists to stay off the roads on Wednesday, saying « winds are expected to intensify to typhoon force winds by midday. » About 21,700 US military personnel and their families are based at or near several facilities on Guam, which routinely hosts nuclear attack submarines and long-range bombers.
The National Weather Service (NWS) warned of the « triple threats » of torrential rains, catastrophic wind, and life-threatening storm surge. Winds near the eye wall could bring major damage to buildings and homes made of light materials, such as non-concrete roofs and walls that are not made of reinforced concrete. A calamitous storm surge threatens to wreak havoc on shorelines, and large boats « could be torn from moorings. » Forecasts predicted Guam will receive rainfall of 10 to 15 inches, with some areas experiencing 20 inches or more, the NWS said. These in turn could trigger landslides in the central and southern parts of the island, the weather service warned.
Guam Governor Lou Leon Guerrero said, « I am worried for the safety of our people. This is the first storm of this magnitude for 20 years. » People have been asked to stay inside and away from windows, and not venture outside during temporary lulls as flying debris can cause serious injury. About 60 flights departing from or arriving in Guam and scheduled between Tuesday and Thursday have been canceled, A.B. Won Pat International Airport said. The US bases also have some of the Pacific region’s most significant ammunition and fuel storage facilities.
Keywords: Typhoon Mawar, Guam, Category Four typhoon, US territory, evacuation orders, federal aid, storm surge, torrential rains, catastrophic wind, landslides, US military personnel, ammunition, fuel storage facilities.
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