Super Typhoon Mawar Unleashes Category 4 Fury on Guam

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Credit: GEORGE DESIPRIS/Pexels

On Wednesday, the formidable Category 4 Typhoon Mawar struck Guam with fierce intensity, unleashing strong winds, torrential downpours, and a perilous storm surge. The U.S. Pacific territory faced significant challenges as low-lying regions were inundated, compelling residents to seek refuge in their homes and shelters, as reported by AP News.

Typhoon Strikes Guam

The U.S. Pacific territory of Guam experienced the strongest storm in decades as a powerful typhoon made landfall, with its centre passing over the northern tip of the island. The storm brought extreme weather conditions, including high winds, heavy rainfall, and the risk of life-threatening storm surges.

Category 4 Super Typhoon

Categorized as a Category 4 “super typhoon,” the storm boasted sustained winds of 150 mph (241 kph) or greater. The National Weather Service issued warnings about the triple threat of strong winds, torrential rains, and the potential for considerable damage to structures and infrastructure.

Preparations and Evacuations

Prior to the typhoon’s arrival, residents of Guam made necessary preparations, such as securing property, gathering important documents, and filling up gas tanks. The U.S. military evacuated ships, and President Joe Biden declared an emergency to ensure necessary resources were available. Those living in non-concrete houses were advised to seek safer locations.

Impact on Infrastructure and Safety

The storm posed a significant danger to life and property, with risks of non-reinforced concrete walls collapsing, fuel storage tanks rupturing, and cars being overturned. Residents were urged to remain indoors, away from windows, even during calm periods, as the storm’s eye passed overhead. The potential for uprooted trees blocking roads and serving as dangerous projectiles added to the safety concerns.

Post-Storm Challenges

In the aftermath of the typhoon, Guam was expected to face challenges such as prolonged power outages and limited access to water, which could last for days or even weeks. While newer concrete structures were likely to withstand the storm’s impact, older wooden houses with tin roofs were at a higher risk of destruction.

Military and Defense Precautions

Guam, an important hub for U.S. forces in the Pacific, took precautionary measures by evacuating defence personnel, dependents, and employees from areas expected to be affected. Ships were moved out to sea as a standard safety procedure, and the remaining personnel sought shelter on the island.

Typhoon Season and Future Preparedness

Guam’s experience highlights the ongoing risk posed by typhoons in the region. Typhoon season runs from July 1 to Dec. 15 in the western North Pacific. The event emphasizes the importance of continued preparedness, updated building codes, and proactive measures to mitigate risks associated with extreme weather events.

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Source: AP News