By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Guam and CNMI officials advised residents to beef up their disaster preparations as tropical depression Mawar has strengthened to tropical storm status and is anticipated to rapidly intensify.
“The system continues to slowly organize and has slowed down some, with a current movement of the north-northwest at 2 mph,” the U.S. National Weather Service Guam said in its latest advisory.
“It's important to keep in mind, this is a developing system. Future model runs will show changes in the track and strength of this developing tropical storm, which is forecast to become a typhoon before entering the Marianas.”
In the CNMI, Gov. Arnold I. Palacios has declared Typhoon Condition III for Saipan, Tinian and Rota, indicating the possibility of damaging winds within 48 hours.
As of this morning, Tropical storm Mawar was located 525 miles south-southeast of Guam and Rota. It is expected to maintain this general course with an increase in forward speed over the next 24 hours.
A typhoon watch is now in effect for Guam, Rota, Tinian and Saipan.
Island residents have begun stocking up on food supply and some have shuttered up their windows.
Latest guidance indicates tropical storm force winds of 34 to 63 knots are possible early Tuesday morning but there is an increasing likelihood TD 02W could pass through the Marianas as a typhoon. If TD 02W moves faster than expected, this could result in conditions deteriorating as early as Monday afternoon.
The community is advised to take the following preparedness actions this weekend:
· Those living in flood-prone areas should take action; clear drainage areas and unblock storm drains to minimize flooding;
· Clear loose debris around your yard and store any items, such as tents and canopies, that may become airborne with heavy winds, before inclement weather arrives;
· Stay up to date with the latest information. The system track or intensity may change, and advisories may be issued;
· Locate or prepare your emergency preparedness kits for your household;
· Secure important documents such as birth certificates, tax papers, and insurance documents, and keep copies in a water-proof bag;
· Gas your vehicles and get fuel for your generators;
· Be prepared to take action if shutters are warranted;
· In COR 3, residents are asked to secure loose items in their yard including lawn furniture, and barbeque grills and trash cans.