‘What used to be a jungle now looks like a toothpick’ after Typhoon Mawar hits Guam

Hagatna, Guam (AP) – Many residents of Guam were left without power on Thursday after Typhoon Mawar hit the remote U.S. Pacific the night before, tearing roofs off homes, overturning vehicles and chopping trees. The state of being unable to receive public works continued.

Minor injuries were reported, but no fatalities, according to the governor’s office.

When the Eyewall passed, more than 2 feet (60 centimeters) of rain fell in the central and northern parts of the island. The island’s international airport was flooded, and a swirling typhoon caused storm surges and waves that crashed onto coastal reefs and flooded homes.

“We’re waking up to some pretty disturbing sights across Guam. “We look out our door and what used to be a jungle looks like a toothpick, like a scene from the movie Twister. It looks like the trees are being knocked down,” said Landon Aidlett, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

“Most of Guam is dealing with massive disruptions that will take weeks to clean up,” he added.

Mawar, the strongest typhoon since 2002 to hit a territory of about 150,000 people, briefly made landfall at Andersen Air Force Base on the northern tip of the island around 9 p.m. Wednesday as a Category 4 storm, the Bureau of Meteorology said. officials announced.

Communication was difficult on remote islands due to power and internet failures, making it difficult to quickly determine the extent of the damage. Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said in a video message late Thursday morning that the roads are passable but residents should avoid driving and stay at home due to persistent high winds.

“We weathered the storm,” said Leon Guerrero, adding that “the worst is over.”

As the typhoon slowly passed over the island, solar panels flew off and part of the hotel’s exterior collapsed to the ground, according to videos posted on social media. When it felt like maximum strength, the wind creaked and roared like a jet, and water soaked into several houses.

Lia Del Mundo spent the night with her family in a concrete house in Chalan Pago in central Guam. She told the Associated Press that they tried to sleep but were awakened “by the violent shaking of the typhoon shutters and the strong whistling winds.”

“This is not our first rodeo,” she said in a text message. “We’ve been through worse. But we’re ready for the cleaning, repair and restoration that will follow.”

Strong winds ripped off the roof of Enrique Baza’s mother’s house in Yona, causing water to damage everything inside.

“My mother’s house didn’t run away,” he said, adding that she was with her in a concrete house during the storm.

He drove a pickup truck looking for supplies to fix his mother’s roof, but most shops were out of power and he only accepted cash. Many wooden or tin houses he passed were badly destroyed or collapsed.

“It’s kind of a shock,” he said.

In Tumon, on Guam’s northeast coast, wind ripped the granite countertops of a hotel’s outdoor bar and threw it into the air. Guests hurriedly piled up chairs to support the door, and the windows creaked and warped.

“It was like a freight train going outside,” said Thomas Woolley, who described how the wind and rain pierced through the aluminum storm shutters of his concrete family home overlooking Tumon Bay. At dawn, I found an outdoor cupboard toppled over, its contents smashed to the ground. A relative with a chainsaw helped remove the fallen branches.

“We have a lot of work to do,” Woolley said. “It will take a few days to clean up.”

The Guam Weather Service, located in Tiyan, said it would stop working in the morning to allow officials to return to their families and assess the damage at their homes. A counterpart in the Honolulu office took over the duties.

To show how much help Guam needs, the Navy has ordered the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group to head to the island to help with reconstruction, according to U.S. officials. The Nimitz is south of Japan with the cruiser Bunker Hill and the destroyer Wayne E. To discuss vessel movements that have not yet been made public.

Guam is located approximately 3,800 miles (6,115 km) west of Hawaii and 1,600 miles (1,575 km) east of Manila, the capital of the Philippines.

By Thursday afternoon, Mawaru was 135 miles (217 km) northwest of Guam and 150 miles (241 km) west of Guam’s northern neighbor Rota, moving west-northwest at 7 miles per hour (11 km per hour). Did.

The Commonwealth Utilities Corporation announced late Wednesday that power was also cut across the island of Rota. The island has about 2,500 residents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

On Thursday, the storm regained its status as a super typhoon, with winds reaching 155 mph (249 km/h), according to the Bureau of Meteorology. Mawar, which means ‘rose’ in Malay, is expected to continue its strength over the next two days.

After moving away from Guam, the storm is expected to move roughly northwest over wide, empty waters for several days and could threaten Taiwan next week.

According to the Pentagon, Guam is a key U.S. military base in the Pacific, with about 6,800 military personnel stationed on the island. Military authorities have evacuated personnel, dependents and employees and put ships out to sea to move aircraft off the island or secure them in protective hangars.


Kelleher reported from Honolulu. Associated Press reporter Seth Borenstein of Kensington, Maryland; Lolita C. Bardot and Sarah Brumfield of Washington; Audrey McAvoy of Honolulu; Mark Thiessen of Anchorage, Alaska; and Stephanie Dagio of Los Angeles. Contributed by Ed Komenda of Seattle.

https://fox40.com/news/national/ap-us-news/ap-after-typhoon-mawar-battered-guam-what-used-to-be-a-jungle-looks-like-toothpicks/ ‘What used to be a jungle now looks like a toothpick’ after Typhoon Mawar hits Guam

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