Residents of the US territory of Guam found themselves staring down the barrel of Super Typhoon Mawar on May 24th. Making landfall with the same intensity as a category 4 storm here in the US, the northern tip of the island reported over 2 feet of rain and intense winds that peaked at 150 mph as the typhoon left the island.
After the storm had passed, they surveyed the island to find that while many of the hardened buildings were left solid, those in less sturdy homes had them destroyed. Most of Guam Power Authority’s grid lost power, with only 1,000 of their 52,000 customers having electricity. Guam Memorial Hospital is running off a backup generator as a result.
According to the hospital, they are making things work. “We are working hard to maintain the last remaining customers through the storm. Our GPA team is prepared to immediately begin restoration as soon as winds decrease to safe levels.”
With the storm now off the island but moving at 8 mph, it is strengthening and is back at Super Typhoon status, with winds topping out at over 200 mph. This means outer bands of the storm and the accompanying 40 to 50 mph winds are still battering the small island and could result in more catastrophic landslides and roads washing out.
Off the coast, waves over 40 feet were reported as the storm passed by. While this alone can be devastating to marine life, the plant life on the island was battered by the winds and rain. With 50-70% of the island losing much, if not all of its healthy plant life, the storm did significant damage to the ecosystem.
While the island was hammered by this storm, surprisingly, there have been no reports of serious injury or death.