Guam ‘very blessed’ as Typhoon Mawar leaves with no reported deaths
Chainsaws rattled Friday as neighbors helped neighbors clear downed trees and began clearing debris. Stormwinderwhich walloped Guam as the most powerful hurricane to hit the island in two decades but appears to have passed without leaving death or widespread destruction in its wake.
While it was still early in the recovery effort, police Sgt. Paul Tapau said there appeared to be no major damage, major roads were passable and “Guam was very blessed that there were no deaths or serious injuries from the storm.”
For Tapao, the roar of the mechanical saws was a reminder of the resilience of the storm-ravaged American Pacific region and its people.
Hurricane Mawr hit Guam, knocking out power and forcing water to boil
He said that everyone helps in cleaning. “It’s the Gumanian way – embedded in the blood.”
He added that there is a saying in Chamorro – the indigenous language of the Mariana Islands – “Anafa Malek”, which means the concept of cooperation, harmony or the restoration of order.
“Storms have taught our island to be resilient,” he said. “We’re still here.”
Still, officials said it could take weeks to clean up the mess after Mawar made landfall Wednesday night as a Category 4 storm on the northern tip of the island of about 150,000 people, flipping cars, flipping roofs. They flew away and left the trees bare.
Tapau said some villages had little or no water on Friday. About 51,000 customers were without power, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Officials said there were 725 people in shelters on Friday, down from about 1,000 on Thursday.
Water contamination from heavy rains and runoff was a concern: the Guam Water Works Authority issued a notice advising residents to boil water before drinking, and Guam’s Environmental Protection Agency warned people to Stay away from the ocean at all beaches as the bacteria levels are high. .
More than 2 feet of rain fell on the central and northern parts of the island as it passed through the Eyewall. The swirling typhoon churned up storm surges and waves that crashed against coastal cliffs and swampy houses.
In the southeastern village of Una, floodwaters reached waist-high to the house where the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law of Alexander Ken M. Aflag live, he said. Two trucks and an SUV were completely submerged.
Aflag said the mood on the island was the same as after every storm, as people assess the damage and move to get their lives back to normal. His biggest concern was shortages, saying supplies were at the same level as in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The cleanup is a struggle but we all help each other and support each other,” he said via text message.
Emergency shelters in Guam prepare to fill in residents for Typhoon Mawr
Also in Yuna, the storm blew back the roof of Enrique Baza’s mother’s house, damaging everything underwater. Her mother rode out the storm with her at her concrete residence, she said, but “my mom’s house didn’t survive.”
After the storm passed he drove around in a pickup looking for supplies to repair his roof, but most stores were without power and only accepted cash. Many wooden or tin houses were badly damaged or completely collapsed.
“It’s kind of a shock,” Baza said.
On Friday, President Joe Biden announced that A Great disaster is in place for Guam and has ordered federal aid to increase recovery efforts.
There were long lines at ATMs and some shops and gas stations on Friday.
Officials said they expect operations at the flooded AB Onepet International Airport to resume next Tuesday.
Guam Governor Lou Leon Guerrero gave the all-clear Thursday evening, returning the island to its designated state of readiness. National Weather Service Picked up his Typhoon watch.
“We’ve weathered the storm,” Leon Guerrero said.
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According to Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau, the typhoon is forecast to continue moving northwest before turning sharply north on Tuesday or Wednesday. This track will hold the hurricane for several days as it gradually weakens.
On Thursday, Mawar regained super typhoon status, with sustained winds of 150 mph. By early Friday, they had strengthened to 175 mph, according to the weather service.
As of Friday morning, Mawar was centered 345 miles west-northwest of Guam and 360 miles west of Rota, Guam’s northern neighbor, moving west-northwest at 14 mph. .
Carlo Quinonez, who lives near Tamuning, said he rode out the storm at a hotel and felt “very lucky” that the building was largely unscathed. A nearby abandoned building lost several of its windows and part of a wall on the fifth floor, Quinonez said.
“It was the summit that made us question our safety. Floors creaking and walls collapsing. Debris, roots and fruit thrown everywhere,” he wrote in an email. wrote in an email.
The Navy has ordered the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier strike group to the island to help with recovery efforts, according to a US official. The Nimitz, the USS Bunker Hill, a cruiser, and the USS Wayne E. Meyer, a destroyer, were south of Japan and expected to reach Guam in three or four days, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. will Discussing the ship’s movements has not yet been made public.