The USS Nimitz carrier strike group and U.S. Coast Guard units are being moved to Guam to assist in the recovery efforts after a Category 4 typhoon slammed the Pacific island on Wednesday. Typhoon Mawar hit Guam on Wednesday, knocking out power for many parts of the island, damaging homes and flooding areas.
Additional troops and supplies started arriving on Friday, a day after the typhoon warning was lifted. The U.S. Coast Guard flew in personnel from Hawaii on Friday, May 26, including a dive team and boat crews. They will assist in clearing waterways and facilities, and searching for any signs of pollution caused by storm damage.
The USS Nimitz carrier group was at sea near Japan. The Navy ordered the ships to move to Guam on Wednesday, and it is expected to arrive before the end of the weekend.
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Early Sunday morning the Coast Guard declared that it had cleared and reopened the main port in Guam.
“This significant milestone marks a crucial step in the recovery process following the impact of Typhoon Mawar,” Capt. Nick Simmons, the commander of U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia Sector Guam, said in a statement on Sunday. “I would like to thank all the crews, partners, and families as we continue our deliberate effort to reconstitute our operations. We’ve come a long way in a short period resuming port activities and our Joint Rescue Sub-Center watch.”
As for the installations themselves, the bases on the island, Naval Base Guam, Andersen Air Force Base and Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz all gave an all-clear for readiness (with a few minor conditions) Friday night. The storm made an initial landfall on Anderson Air Force Base.
As of Sunday morning, some gas stations are closed and commissaries are limiting customers to two of each item due to supply concerns, per posts made on the installations’ Facebook pages. Water is also being conserved. There is a precautionary boil water notice for Marine Corps Base Blaz. Naval Base Guam is also running critical services from on-site generators; the power lines and electrical infrastructure belonging to the Guam Power Authority was heavily damaged in the storm.
Typhoon Mawar is the strongest storm to hit the island in 21 years. No one was killed, although several injuries were reported. Guam is home to roughly 150,000 people, many of whom have lost power in the last few days. Bad weather remained after the storm passed on Thursday. Typhoon Mawar is now en route to the Philippines and has strengthened to a Category 5 Typhoon.
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