Typhoon Mawar has caused heavy rain and strong winds in Guam, although the eye of the storm passed just north of the US territory. According to CNN, the island is experiencing “hurricane-force winds” as a result of the “strongest storm to impact Guam in decades”. The Guam International Airport recorded winds of 71mph with a gust of 105mph during the evening of Wednesday 24th May. An extreme wind warning was issued for the northern part of the island, where the strongest winds and heaviest rainfall are being felt. The National Weather Service in Guam warned of winds that “could create tornado-like damage”.
The storm has caused widespread power outages, despite the fact that the eye of the storm passed north of the island. At the height of the storm, maximum sustained winds were recorded at 140mph with gusts up to 165mph. Nearly all of Guam Power Authority’s circuits have been impacted and only a small proportion of its customers still had electricity. Guam Memorial Hospital is currently operating on power from a standby generator.
The authorities had issued warnings ahead of the storm and had ordered the evacuation of low-lying coastal areas in anticipation of catastrophic developments. Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero’s office released a statement urging residents to prepare for the worst and anticipate rising sea levels, which could leave residents with only a few minutes to evacuate and respond.