Guam ‘very blessed’ as Typhoon Mawar leaves with no reported deaths

Chainsaws buzzed Friday as neighbors helped neighbors clear toppled timber and started cleansing the wreckage of Typhoon Mawar, which walloped Guam as the strongest hurricane to hit the island in over 20 years however appeared to have handed with out leaving demise or huge destruction in its wake.

While it was nonetheless early going within the restoration effort, police Sgt. Paul Tapao stated there didn’t appear to be any main harm, major roads have been satisfactory and “Guam has been very blessed to have no storm-related deaths or any serious injuries.”

To Tapao, the roar of the mechanical saws was a reminder of the resilience of the storm-prone U.S. Pacific territory and its individuals.


“Everyone helps out with the cleaning,” he stated. “That’s the Guamanian way — that’s embedded in the blood.”

He added that there is a saying in Chamorro — the indigenous language of the Mariana Islands — “inafa maolek,” meaning cooperation, an idea of restoring concord or order.

“Storms have taught our island to be resilient,” he stated. “We’re still here.”

Still, officers stated it may take weeks to wash up the mess after Mawar briefly made landfall as a Category 4 storm Wednesday evening on the northern tip of the island of roughly 150,000 individuals, flipping automobiles, tearing off roofs and leaving timber naked.

Some villages had little or no water Friday, Tapao stated. About 51,000 prospects have been with out electrical energy, based on the Federal Emergency Management Agency. There have been 725 individuals in shelters Friday, down from practically 1,000 on Thursday, officers stated.

Water floods a constructing in Hagatna, Guam, on May 25, 2023, after Typhoon Mawar handed by way of the world.  (AP Photo/Grace Garces Bordallo)

Water contamination from the heavy rains and runoff was a priority: The Guam Waterworks Authority issued a discover advising residents to boil water earlier than ingesting it, and the Guam Environmental Protection Agency warned individuals to remain out of the ocean in any respect seashores due to excessive micro organism content material.

The central and northern elements of the island obtained greater than 2 toes of rain as the eyewall handed. The swirling hurricane churned up a storm surge and waves that crashed by way of coastal reefs and swamped homes.

In the southeastern village of Yona, the floodwaters reached above the waist on the residence the place Alexander Ken M. Aflague’s mother-in-law and sister-in-law reside, he stated. Two vehicles and an SUV have been fully submerged.

Aflague stated the temper on the island was like after each storm, as individuals assess the harm and transfer towards rebuilding their lives again to regular. His main fear was shortages, saying provides have been at ranges just like what they have been throughout the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The cleanup is the struggle but we all pitch in and help each other,” he stated through textual content message.


Also in Yona, winds peeled again the roof of Enrique Baza’s mom’s home, permitting water to break every thing inside. His mom rode out the storm with him at his concrete residence, he stated, however “my mom’s house didn’t escape.”

He drove round in a pickup after the storm handed on the lookout for provides to restore her roof, however most shops have been with out energy and accepting solely money. Many picket or tin houses have been badly broken or had collapsed outright.

“It’s kind of a shock,” Baza stated.

On Friday, President Joe Biden declared {that a} major disaster exists for Guam and ordered federal help to complement restoration efforts.

There have been lengthy traces at ATMs and a few shops and gasoline stations on Friday.

Officials stated they anticipated with the ability to resume operations on the flooded A.B. Won Pat International Airport subsequent Tuesday.

Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero gave the all-clear Thursday night, returning the island to its typical situation of readiness as the National Weather Service lifted its hurricane watch.

“We have weathered the storm,” Leon Guerrero stated.


The storm is forecast to proceed shifting northwest earlier than turning sharply north Tuesday or Wednesday, based on Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau. That monitor would hold the hurricane at sea for days as it progressively weakens.

Mawar had regained its standing as a brilliant hurricane on Thursday, with winds reaching 150 mph. By early Friday, that they had strengthened to 175 mph, based on the climate service.

On Friday morning, Mawar was centered 345 miles west-northwest of Guam and 360 miles west of Rota, Guam’s neighbor to the north, shifting west-northwest at 14 mph.

Carlo Quinonez, who lives close to Tamuning, stated he rode out the storm in a lodge and felt “very lucky” that the constructing was largely unscathed. A close-by deserted constructing misplaced a lot of its home windows and a part of a wall on the fifth story, Quinonez stated.

“It was the peak that had us questioning our safety. Floors rattling and walls creaking. Tossing debris, and roots, and fruit everywhere,” he wrote in an e-mail.

The Navy has ordered the USS Nimitz plane provider strike group to move to the island to help within the restoration effort, based on a U.S. official. The Nimitz, alongside with the USS Bunker Hill, a cruiser, and the USS Wayne E. Meyer, a destroyer, have been south of Japan and anticipated to reach in Guam in three or 4 days, stated the official, who spoke on situation of anonymity to debate ship actions not but made public.

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