Typhoon Mawar expected to hit Guam as potentially ‘catastrophic’ storm
It could be the strongest tropical cyclone to hit Guam in decades.
A powerful typhoon is heading towards Guam, which could be the strongest tropical cyclone to hit the island in decades.
Typhoon Mawar could directly hit Guam with winds as strong as 140 mph, equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane. The strong tropical cyclone is expected to hit around noon local time Wednesday, or around 10 p.m. ET Tuesday.
It is exceptionally rare to have a direct hit from a Category 4 typhoon, as the last time the island was hit by such a strong typhoon was in 1976.
Earlier today, Super Typhoon Mawar was expected to hit Guam with winds as strong as 160 mph, equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane.
A typhoon warning has been issued for the US island territory, located in the Western Pacific.
Rainfall could reach 20 inches and the storm surge is expected to reach 25 feet. The super typhoon is already producing waves of up to 45 feet in the ocean near Guam.
Guam’s Civil Defense office on Tuesday advised residents to seek shelter immediately because Mawar “should make a direct hit or very close pass for Guam.”
“There is a potential for a catastrophic and devastating event for Guam,” the office said in a bulletin.
Guam Governor Lou Leon Guerrero also urged residents on Tuesday to take shelter immediately as “damaging winds” are expected to begin soon.
“Please take all necessary precautions safely before we feel the full force of the super typhoon,” she said on social media.
An emergency shelter in northern Guam had already reached capacity, the governor said.
President Joe Biden has declared an emergency in Guam due to Mawar and ordered federal aid to support the typhoon response.
Mawar could be one of the most powerful typhoons to hit Guam since the 1960s, the start of the satellite era.
The most destructive typhoon to hit Guam was Karen in 1962, with winds of 155 mph and wind gusts of at least 170 mph, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Most of the houses on the island have been destroyed.
More recently, in 2002, Super Typhoon Pongsona moved near the island with winds of 144 mph and gusts up to 173 mph, causing $700 million in damage at the time, according to NOAA.