After Typhoon Mawar battered Guam, ‘what used to be a jungle looks like toothpicks’

HAGATNA, GUAM: Many residents of Guam remained with out energy and utilities Thursday after Hurricane Mawar tore by way of the distant US Pacific territory the evening earlier than and ripped roofs off houses, flipped autos and shredded bushes.
There have been no fast experiences of deaths and accidents however the central and northern elements of the island obtained greater than 2 ft (60 centimeters) of rain because the eyewall handed. The island’s worldwide airport flooded and the swirling storm churned up a storm surge and waves that crashed by way of coastal reefs and flooded houses.
“We’re waking as much as a fairly disturbing scene on the market throughout Guam. We’re looking our door and what was once a jungle seems like toothpicks — it seems like a scene from the film ‘Tornado,’ with bushes simply thrashed aside,” mentioned Landon Aydlett, a meteorologist with the Nationwide Climate Service.
“Most of Guam is coping with a serious mess that’s gonna take weeks to scrub up,” he added.
The strongest storm to hit the territory of roughly 150,000 individuals since 2002, Mawar briefly made landfall round 9 p.m. Wednesday as a Class 4 storm at Andersen Air Drive Base on the northern tip of the island, climate service officers mentioned.
The scope of the harm was tough to establish early on, with energy and web failures making communication on the far-flung island tough. Guam governor Lou Leon Guerrero mentioned in a video message late Thursday morning that roads have been satisfactory, however residents ought to keep away from driving and keep house attributable to ongoing sturdy winds.
“We have now weathered the storm,” Leon Guerrero mentioned, including that “the worst has passed by.”
Because the storm crept slowly over the island, it despatched photo voltaic panels flying and crumbled a part of a lodge’s exterior wall to the bottom, based on movies posted on social media. At what felt like its peak depth, the winds screeched and howled like jets, and water swamped some houses.
Leah del Mundo spent the evening together with her household of their concrete house in Chalan Pago, in central Guam. She informed The Related Press they tried to sleep however have been woke up “by violent shaking of the storm shutters and the whistling sturdy winds.”
“It’s not our first rodeo,” she mentioned through textual content message. “We’ve been by way of worse. However we brace ourselves for the cleanup, repairs, restoration afterwards.”
Winds peeled again the roof of Enrique Baza’s mom’s home in Yona, permitting water to break every thing inside.
“My mother’s home didn’t escape,” he mentioned, including that his mom stayed with him in his concrete house throughout the storm.
He drove round in a pickup truck searching for provides to restore his mom’s roof, however most shops have been with out energy and solely accepting money. Many picket or tin houses he handed have been badly overwhelmed or collapsed.
“It’s type of a shock,” he mentioned.
In Tumon, on Guam’s northeastern shore, winds tore a granite countertop from a lodge’s out of doors bar and tossed it into the air. Visitors scrambled to stack chairs to brace the doorways, and home windows buckled and creaked.
“It was like a freight practice happening outdoors,” mentioned Thomas Wooley, who recounted how wind and rain pushed by way of the aluminum shutters of his household’s concrete house overlooking Tumon Bay. When day broke, he discovered their out of doors china cupboard toppled and its contents shattered on the bottom. A chainsaw-wielding relative helped clear downed branches.
“We’ve obtained tons of labor to do,” Wooley mentioned. “It’s going to take a couple of days to scrub it up.”
Guam’s climate service workplace in Tiyan mentioned it might shut down operations within the morning for staff to get house to households and assess harm at their houses. Counterparts within the Honolulu workplace took over their duties.
In an indication of how a lot assist Guam would possibly want, the Navy ordered the USS Nimitz plane service strike group to go to the island to help within the restoration effort, based on a US official. The Nimitz, together 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, mentioned the official, who spoke on situation of anonymity to debate ship actions not but made public.
Guam is about 3,800 miles (6,115 kilometers) west of Hawaii and 1,600 miles (1,575 kilometers) east of the Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
By Thursday afternoon, Mawar was centered 135 miles (217 kilometers) northwest of Guam and 150 miles (241 kilometers) west of Rota, Guam’s neighbor to the north, transferring west-northwest at 7 mph (11 kph).
Energy was additionally knocked out for all of Rota, the Commonwealth Utilities Corp mentioned late Wednesday. The island has about 2,500 residents, based on the US Census Bureau.
The storm strengthened to 155 mph (249 kph) winds Thursday and regained its standing as a brilliant storm, based on the climate service. Mawar, a Malaysian phrase which means “rose,” was forecast to keep up this depth for the subsequent two days.
After transferring away from Guam, the storm is predicted to trace typically northwest over a big, empty of expanse of ocean for days, and it may threaten Taiwan subsequent week.
Guam is an important hub for US forces within the Pacific, with about 6,800 service members assigned to the island, based on the Pentagon. Army officers evacuated personnel, dependents and workers, despatched ships out to sea and moved plane off the island or secured them in protecting hangars.

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