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Typhoon Mawar Threatens Guam with Potentially Catastrophic Impact

Typhoon Mawar Threatens Guam

Typhoon Mawar, described as potentially "catastrophic," is on a collision course with Guam, posing the most powerful storm threat to the US territory in decades. The National Weather Service office in Guam warns that the typhoon presents a triple threat, including deadly winds equivalent to at least a Category 4 hurricane, exceptional storm surge, and torrential rainfall. The storm's intensity has rapidly increased, and it is expected to strike the island, potentially making a direct landfall on Wednesday afternoon, local time.


As of early Wednesday, Typhoon Mawar's center was approximately 80 miles from Guam, with conditions deteriorating rapidly as its outer bands moved through the area. With maximum sustained winds of 140 mph, equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane, Mawar's strength decreased slightly from its super typhoon status earlier. However, fluctuations in strength remain possible, and the storm is anticipated to maintain its intensity as it moves west and northwest over Guam in the coming days.


The slow forward movement of the typhoon, currently at 6 mph, raises concerns about prolonged impacts from powerful winds and substantial rainfall. The National Weather Service in Guam has warned of devastating effects from Typhoon Mawar, with the island facing the brunt of the storm's strongest winds and highest storm surge if it makes a direct landfall.


While Guam is situated in an area prone to powerful tropical cyclones, a storm of this magnitude making a direct hit is exceedingly rare, occurring only approximately eight times in the last 75 years. The small size of the island, spanning just 30 miles, adds to the challenge of a storm center passing over it.


If Typhoon Mawar strikes with sustained winds exceeding 140 mph, it could be the strongest storm to directly impact Guam since at least 1976. The last storm of similar intensity was Super Typhoon Karen in 1962, which caused widespread devastation with sustained winds of 172 mph.


Scientists have noted that human-caused climate change contributes to the likelihood of intense storms like Typhoon Mawar. Rising ocean temperatures and other climate factors create favorable conditions for rapid intensification, leading to more severe and rapidly strengthening tropical cyclones.


The potential impacts of the typhoon include significant damage to structures lacking concrete reinforcement, extensive roof damage, and the risk of projectiles propelled by powerful winds. The National Weather Service in Guam has warned of prolonged electricity and water unavailability, snapped or uprooted trees, and potential erosion from an exceptional storm surge of up to 25 feet. Flash flooding is also a concern, with rainfall estimates of 10 to 15 inches and the possibility of higher amounts if the storm slows down.


As the ground becomes saturated, landslides may become likely, particularly in hilly terrain where the soil becomes unstable. The situation in Guam remains critical as Typhoon Mawar threatens to unleash its destructive force upon the island, prompting authorities and residents to take necessary precautions and heed official warnings.


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