What to know as Super Typhoon Mawar hammers Guam
Super Typhoon Mawar is moving away from the U.S. territory of Guam, but the island is still facing its strongest storm in decades, causing widespread damage.
The Category 4 storm made landfall on the island of 150,000 residents on Wednesday night, the most powerful to hit the island since 2002. Winds have reached as high as 140 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
The NWS warned the storm was causing life-threatening conditions and the island’s residents should take shelter as the storm proceeds. President Biden approved an emergency declaration for Guam on Tuesday to allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate disaster relief efforts to respond to the storm.
Videos posted online showed trees taken down, cars flipped over, solar panels sent flying through the air, parts of a multistory hotel crumbling and storm surge crashing on the coast, The Associated Press reported.
The Weather Channel reported that dozens of flights were canceled at Guam’s Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport as water flooded into the airport’s floors.
The storm made landfall around 9 p.m. local time on Wednesday and was officially on land for about 30 minutes before moving offshore, NWS meteorologist Patrick Doll told AP.
Despite the storm no longer being over land, it is moving slowly at 10 to 15 miles per hour, and a typhoon warning remains in effect for the island.
The USS Nimitz aircraft carrier strike group are also on their way to Guam to assist in recovery efforts and are expected to arrive in a few days. A defense official told The Hill that FEMA did not yet request support from the military, but the ships will be ready to assist once it does.
One observer in Guam told The Weather Channel that the winds had significantly diminished by Thursday afternoon local time. They said the winds and rain are still “considerable” and traveling outside remains unsafe.
“It’s been a long, emotional and tiring night for most Guam residents,” they said. “We are grateful to come through it.”
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.