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Typhoon Mawar brings 100 mph winds to Guam

The storm knocked out power to 98% of Guam. Officials have yet to assess the storm's full impact.
Typhoon Mawar brings 100 mph winds to Guam
Posted at 4:37 AM, May 24, 2023

National Weather Service forecasters said that Typhoon Mawar brought winds of at least 105 mph to northern sections of Guam on Wednesday. 

The typhoon knocked out power to much of the U.S. territory. The island’s power authority said only 1,000 of its 52,000 customers had electricity by late Wednesday. 

On Tuesday, forecasters predicted that Mawar’s eye would go directly over Guam as a Category 5 typhoon. By Wednesday, the typhoon’s eye jogged just to the north of the island. 

The storm also weakened slightly, packing top winds of 140 mph near its eye on Wednesday. Those speeds still made the storm the strongest to strike the island since 2002.

The slight northward trend did bring stronger typhoon conditions to Rota, the southernmost island of the Northern Mariana Islands. The National Weather Service said Category 1 conditions knocked out power to the island. 

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Other parts of the Northern Mariana Islands were dealing with heavy rains and strong winds. 

The National Weather Service encouraged Guam residents to continue to shelter into early Thursday as Mawar drifts away from the island. 

The storm's wind and storm surge damaged buildings and uprooted trees, but police in northern Guam said on Wednesday there had been no reports of injuries.

Earlier this week, President Joe Biden issued an emergency declaration in response to the forecast, freeing up federal resources for the island of nearly 153,000 residents.

A U.S. official said the Navy had deployed the U.S.S. Nimitz carrier and its strike group to Guam to assist in the recovery effort. The vessels were expected to arrive in three to four days.

Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero also signed an executive order to evacuate low-lying coastal areas and open shelters. 

"I will be making an assessment of the island as soon as it is safe for me to go outside," she said, adding that residents should stay home until she makes an assessment. "Stay calm, stay informed and stay safe. We will get through this storm as we have in many, many other storms."

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