Guam ‘very blessed’ with no early reports of major damage in the messy aftermath of Typhoon Mawar

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Chainsaws buzzed Friday as neighbors helped each other clear downed trees and began cleaning up the debris of Typhoon Mawr, which slammed Guam as the strongest storm to hit the island in two decades. but passed without death or mass destruction.

While this recovery effort was still going on, Police Sgt. Paul Tapao said that there did not appear to be any major damage, that major arteries were passable and that “Guam is very blessed that there were no hurricane-related deaths or serious injuries.”

For Tapao, the rumble of mechanical saws was a reminder of the resilience of hurricane-prone America. Calm region and its people.

He said that everyone’s cooperation is received in cleaning. “That’s the Gumanian way—embodied in blood.”

He noted that there is a saying in Chamorro – the indigenous language of the Mariana Islands – “Inafa Maulek”, which means the concept of cooperation, harmony or restoring order.

“The storms have taught our island to be resilient,” he said. “we are still here.”

Still, officials said about 150,000 people were expected to clean up the mess after Mawr made landfall on Wednesday as a Category 4 storm on the northern tip of the US Pacific, overturning cars, tearing roofs off and leaving trees bare. May take weeks.

Tapao said some villages had little or no water on Friday. About 51,000 customers were without power Federal Emergency Management Agency, Guam officials said about 1,000 people were still in shelters as of Thursday.

More than 2 feet (60 cm) of rain fell in the central and northern parts of the island as the eyewall passed. The island’s international airport was flooded, and the rotating storm raised a storm surge and waves that crashed against coastal cliffs and moored homes.

In the southeast village of Jonah, floodwaters reached waist-high in the home where the mother-in-law and sister-in-law of Alexander Kane M. Aflage live, he said. Two trucks and an SUV were completely submerged.

Aflage said the mood on the island was similar after every hurricane, as people assess the damage and move toward normalizing their lives. His major concern was shortages, saying supplies were at the same level they were in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Cleaning is a struggle, but we all push through and help each other out,” she said via text message.

Also in Yona, the winds pushed back the roof of Enrique Baza’s mother’s house, causing water to damage everything inside. His mother rode out the storm with him at their concrete residence, he said, but “my mother’s house did not 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 accepting cash. Many wooden or tin houses were badly damaged or collapsed outright.

Baja said, ‘It’s kind of a shock.

Guam’s government, Lou Leon Guerrero, gave the “all clear” on Thursday evening, allowing the island to return to its normal state of preparedness. national weather service Raised his storm watch.

Leon Guerrero said, “We have weathered the storm.” “The worst has passed.”

The storm was expected to move northwest over a large, empty expanse of sea and enter the Philippine “area of ​​responsibility” late Friday or early Saturday. Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Facebook that officials were making preparations and that the storm could bring heavy rains and flooding. Mawar can threaten Taiwan next week.

Mavar regained its status as a super typhoon on Thursday, with winds reaching 150 mph (241 kph). By early Friday, they had strengthened to 175 mph (282 kph), according to the weather service. Mawar, which means “rose” in Malay, was forecast to maintain that general course and speed until Saturday.

Friday morning, Mawar was 345 miles (555 kilometers) west-northwest of Guam and 360 miles (579 kilometers) west of Rota, Guam’s neighbor to the north, at 14 mph (23 kph) was centered in the west-northwest.

Authorities also announced a thorough clean-up on Rota, Saipan and Tinian on Thursday. The Commonwealth Utilities Corporation said on Thursday night that there was a power failure in the entire Rota. The island has approximately 2,500 inhabitants.

As the typhoon slowly moved over Guam, it sent solar panels flying and part of a hotel’s exterior wall to the ground, according to videos posted on social media. At what felt like its peak intensity, the winds gusted and roared like jets, and some homes were flooded.

Leah del Mundo spent the night with her family at their concrete home in Chalan Pago, central Guam. She said that they tried to sleep, but were awakened by “the rumblings of the thunderstorm and the strong gusts of wind”.

“This ain’t our first rodeo,” she said via text message. “We have gone through worse times. But we prepare ourselves for the cleanup, the repair, the restoration afterwards.”

Carlo Quiñones, who lives near Tamuning, said he rode out the storm at a hotel and felt “very lucky” that the building was largely intact. Quiñones said a nearby abandoned building lost several of its windows and part of a wall on the fifth floor.

“It was the peak that made us question our safety. The floors are creaking and the walls are creaking. Throwing debris, and roots and fruit everywhere,” he wrote in an email.

According to a US official, the Navy has ordered the USS Nimitz Aircraft Carrier Strike Group to the island to assist in the recovery effort. The official said on condition of anonymity that Nimitz, along with the cruiser USS Bunker Hill and the destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer, were south of Japan and expected to reach Guam in three or four days. The movement of the ship has not yet been made public to discuss.


Kelleher reported from Honolulu. AP Science writer Seth Borenstein in Kensington, Maryland, and Associated Press writer Lolita C. Baldor and Sarah Broomfield, Audrey McAvoy in Honolulu, Mark Thiessen in Anchorage, Alaska, Stephanie Dazio in Los Angeles, Ed Komenda in Seattle and Rebecca Boone in Boise, Idaho, contributed.