The National Weather Service (NWS) Guam Weather Forecast Office continues to monitor a Tropical Depression that is expected to become a typhoon by the time it makes its closest point of approach to Guam. Closest point of approach is currently expected to be late Tuesday evening, early Wednesday.
The storm currently is located at 12 degrees north latitude, 167.5 east degrees longitude, about 1530 miles east of Guam – that means there is enough time for the storm to exceed current projections.
The tropical depression is expected to continue moving west and strengthen. The current models forecast the system to impact Guam by Tuesday evening or early Wednesday, becoming a possible Category 3 or Category 4 typhoon.
A Category 3 Typhoon is referred to as a “strong typhoon” with maximum sustained winds of 111-129 mph and peak gusts of 140-164 mph.
A Category 4 Typhoon is referred to as a “very strong typhoon” with maximum sustained winds of 130-156 and peak gusts of 165-198 mph.
NWS advised this may be the worst typhoon to impact Guam since Typhoon Pongsana in 2002. The problem posed by NWS is that the storm has enough time to significantly develop before reaching Guam. These projections may change as the intensity and conditions have the ability to worsen.
The Offices of Guam Homeland Security and Civil Defense (GHS/OCD) and personnel from the Government of Guam and military personnel that play a role in the GHS/OCD Emergency Operations Center, received a heavy weather brief from the NWS. Respective village mayors have also met with GHS/OCD and received the heavy weather brief by NWS.
Coordination is underway between GHS/OCD, Mayor’s Council of Guam (MCoG) and the Department of Public Works (DPW) to clear village drainage areas that pose a problem in heavy rains.
Discussions are underway to move to COR3 by Sunday. This can change depending on the forecast track.
Plans are in place to open respective Guam Department of Education (Guam DOE) emergency shelters and preparation is also underway for pregnant mothers at the Guam Memorial Hospital. More information will provided by Sunday.
Take Action Now to Prepare
Due to the uncertainty of exactly how close to Guam the disturbance will pass and the strength, it is advised to take precautionary actions now. To prepare for any scenario, residents and visitors are advised to:
· Stay up to date with the latest information. The storm track or intensity may change and advisories regarding flash flooding or dangerous seas may be issued.
· Locate or prepare your emergency preparedness kits for your household; stock up on non-perishable food items and water for your household, flashlights, first-aid kits, batteries, matches or lighters, portable stove, toiletries, etc. Visit https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit for more information on what to include in your supplies list.
· Secure important documents such as birth certificates, tax papers, and insurance documents and keep copies in a water-proof bag.
· Clear loose debris around your yard and store any items that may become airborne with heavy winds, before inclement weather arrives.
· Gas your vehicles and get fuel for your generators now while the weather is clear.
· Stay up to date in the event there are changes in Conditions of Readiness.
· All temporary signs, including those for political campaigns, advertisements and any other wooden or loosely placed signs should be taken down before Sunday.
· Loosely fitted items and signs have the ability to lift in heavy winds and cause damage to life and property.
Stay Up To Date
Due to the amount of uncertainty of the system’s exact location and strength when it does reach the Marianas early next week, residents and visitors are advised to stay up to date with the latest information from local media and the following links:
· NWS Website: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/guam/
· NWS Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NWSGuam/
· GHS/OCD Website: https://ghs.guam.gov/
· GHS/OCD Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GHSOCD/
· Joint Region Marianas Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jrmguam/
· Governor Calvo Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eddiebazacalvo/
For more information, contact the GHS/OCD 24/7 watch desk at (671) 475-9600 or (671) 482-7019.