HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — Typhoon Mawar inched over Guam as a powerful Category 4 storm on Thursday, relentlessly lashing the U.S. Pacific island territory with heavy rain, powerful winds, and a dangerous storm surge and knocking out power to many communities where frightened residents hunkered down for the night in homes and shelters.
The typhoon’s center passed over the northern tip of Guam on Wednesday evening, the National Weather Service said. It is the strongest storm to hit the territory of over 150,000 people in decades. Its maximum sustained winds remained at 140 mph late Wednesday, and it was forecast to intensify throughout the day Thursday, the weather service said.
Videos posted on social media showed fallen trees, a flipped pickup truck, solar panels flying through the air, parts of a wall of a multistory hotel crumbling to the ground and exposing rebar, and storm surge and waves crashing through coastal reefs. The early scope of the damage was difficult to ascertain, with power and internet failures making communication with the far-flung island difficult to impossible as the storm carved an excruciatingly slow path.