Guam braces for potentially ‘catastrophic’ Super Typhoon Mawar

Guam is bracing to be hit by the potentially “catastrophic” Super Typhoon Mawar.

The tropical cyclone is expected to bring deadly winds over 150 mph and a 25-foot storm surge, becoming the strongest weather event to impact the U.S. territory in decades.

The typhoon is expected to hit the Micronesian island around noon local time on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET), bringing with it as much as 20 inches of rain. Waves in the Pacific Ocean are already reaching 45 feet as the storm moves north-northwest.

“There is a potential of a catastrophic and devastating event for Guam,” the Office of Civil Defense said Tuesday, urging residents to find shelter immediately since Mawar is “expected to make a direct hit” or come very close to the island. One forecast shows the eye of the storm passing directly over the island.

“Please take all the necessary precautions in an abundance of safety before we feel the full strength of the super typhoon,” Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said. “We are at the crosshairs of Typhoon Mawar. Take action now, stay calm, stay informed and stay safe.”

People who do not live in concrete homes have been encouraged to seek shelter elsewhere. Emergency shelters are also filling up.

President Biden has also declared a state of emergency and offered federal assistance to the territory.

Guam has about 170,000 residents.

The impending storm is set to arrive a day after the U.N. released a new report that found more than 2 million people had died in extreme weather events that also caused $4.3 trillion in damages in the last 50 years.

The super typhoon Karen struck Guam in 1962 with gusts over 170 mph and destroyed most homes on the island.