Category 4 Typhoon Mawar continues to pummel Guam, but the worst appears to be over there as the intensifying tropical cyclone moves north and west away from the Marianas. There’s reports of widespread damage and lack of power across Guam, with windows blown-in, walls knocked-over, cars and trucks tossed in the air, and trees stripped of their leaves. While the worst is over for Guam, it is still bad with typhoon conditions persisting for the next several hours. Mawar’s maximum sustained winds are at 140 mph and it is expected to intensify today into tomorrow; the satellite view shows a storm system becoming better organized with a well defined eye.
For now, a Typhoon Warning continues for Guam and Rota. A Tropical Storm Warning and a Typhoon Watch continue for Saipan and Tinian. A Flood Watch is in effect for Guam and the Northern Marianas.
Reports of no power and considerable damage are starting to come in from Guam in the aftermath of #TyphoonMawar https://t.co/9DjbbyDELC
— the Weatherboy (@theWeatherboy) May 24, 2023
“Considerable wind damage to buildings of light material is occurring along with localized flash flooding and the possibility of landslides. Significant coastal erosion is likely, particularly along western shorelines,” warns the National Weather Service in Tiyan, Guam. “You should be in a fully-reinforced concrete structure, especially on Guam. Stay inside and away from windows. Do not venture outside when high winds are occurring or during temporary lulls as flying debris can easily, and suddenly, cause serious injury. Have a well-charged cell phone nearby, keeping network communications as open as possible for emergencies. Once conditions have improved, remain in shelter until the all-clear, COR 4, is announced from government officials.”
Currently, Guam sits at COR 1. Two days ago, Guam Governor Lou Leon Guerrero placed Guam in Condition of Readiness (COR) 1, which means destructive winds are possible within 12 hours.
Yesterday, Hawaii Governor Josh Green, M.D., spoke with Governor Guerrero. Hawaii is the U.S. Territory of Guam’s nearest American neighbor at 3,945 miles away. “The office of Governor Josh Green, M.D., is closely monitoring developments with Super Typhoon Mawar, knowing that many of our residents are from Guam or have family ties there. Governor Green reached out to Guam Governor Lou Leon Guerrero and spoke with her personally today to convey that Hawaiʻi is here for Guam. As always, the State of Hawaiʻi is standing by, ready to support our dear island neighbor in any way we can,” a statement released by the Governor’s office said on Tuesday, Hawaii local time.
The most extreme weather conditions from the typhoon were experienced around Naval Base Guam and Andersen Air Force Base. Yesterday, the Pentagon said Naval Base Guam sent its ships away from shore while aircraft based at Andersen Air Force Base took shelter in hangars there or were flown off the island.
Ahead of Mawar’s arrival, President Joe Biden approved an Emergency Declaration for Guam. The President’s action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all federal disaster relief efforts to alleviate the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population and to provide appropriate assistance to save lives, to protect property, public health and safety and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe territory wide.
Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance, under the public assistance program, will be provided at 75% federal funding.