Super Typhoon Mawar strikes the U.S. territory Guam

Published: May. 24, 2023 at 10:36 PM EDT|Updated: May. 24, 2023 at 11:25 PM EDT
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(WHSV) - Hurricane season doesn’t officially start in the Atlantic until June 1st but the season is well underway in the Northwest Pacific.

Typhoon Mawar struck Guam Wednesday. Guam is a U.S. territory located about 1500 miles east of the Philippines. The island was hammered by the strongest typhoon to hit it since 2002.

The typhoon didn’t directly make landfall on Guam, missing Guam by about 15-20 miles. Still, the brunt of the storm hit Guam as the island was in the typhoon’s inner eye wall.

At the time the typhoon crossed, it briefly lost “super typhoon” status. The storm still had winds estimated at upwards of 140 mph, which is equivalent to a category 4 hurricane. Damaging winds, torrential rains, and life-threatening storm surge hit the area. Nearly all of the island which is home to about 170,000 people were without power Wednesday.

After pulling away from Guam, Mawar regained its “super typhoon” status. A super typhoon is classified as a typhoon with maximum winds over 150 mph which is equivalent to nearly a category 5 hurricane. Mawar is expected to retain strength over the next few days, then weaken some before potentially hitting Taiwan early next week.

The Northwest Pacific Typhoon season runs all year but typically picks up in intensity between May and October. Mawar is the first typhoon of the 2023 Northwest Pacific typhoon season.