Typhoon Mawar tears Guam apart, leaving most of the island without power | Guam

Much of Guam was without power or running water after a typhoon packing fierce winds and torrential rain hit the western Pacific island, but left no people dead or seriously injured.

Residents of the US territory have been ordered to boil their water until further notice as crews repair generators damaged by Typhoon Mawar, according to local media and the Guam water authority.

The typhoon’s 241 kph (150 mph) winds downed power lines and trees, causing widespread power outages in the territory, one of the isolated Mariana Islands, about 4,000 km east of the Philippines.

Crews were working to restore power, prioritizing critical infrastructure such as hospitals and sewage treatment facilities, then homes and businesses, the Guam electrical authority said.

As of Wednesday afternoon’s last count, all but 1,000 of the island’s 52,000 homes and businesses were without power, the power company said.

Minor injuries were reported, but none of the 170,000 people who live on Guam were seriously injured. About 980 people were staying in shelters across the island, Guam’s Office of Homeland Security said.

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero declared the “all clear” Thursday night. “We have weathered this storm, the worst is over,” she said in a video message to the island’s residents, who include about 10,000 US military personnel based there.

Investigation and work teams were assessing damage to military installations, which were limited to essential personnel only, according to the Army’s Joint Marianas Region.

The center and north of the island received more than 60 cm of rain as the heart of the storm passed. The international airport was flooded and the swirling typhoon caused a storm surge with waves crashing into coastal reefs and inundating homes.

A National Weather Service meteorologist, Landon Aydlett, said in a briefing streamed online: “We look out our door and what was once a jungle looks like toothpicks – it looks like a scene from the movie Twister, with trees just set apart.

“Most of Guam is facing a big mess that will take weeks to clean up.”

Images posted on social media showed flooded streets, mutilated trees and debris strewn across front yards.

The Eye of Mawar, one of the strongest storms in decades to hit the island, moved just north of Guam early Thursday, moving northwest at a slow speed of 8 mph ( 13 km/h), delivering rainfall of up to 2 inches (5 cm) an hour overnight, the US Weather Service said.

Wind speeds placed the storm in Category 4, the second strongest designation on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, and just below Category 5. After crossing the island and headed out to sea, the storm intensified into a super typhoon with wind speeds. of 250 km/h.

With Associated Press

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