“Shame on us for making our people suffer,” the mayor said, adding, “Mawar was nothing compared to what we’re going through right now.”
Nearly the size of Chicago and about 1,500 miles east of the Philippines, Guam is used to typhoons (as tropical cyclones are called in the Pacific; in the Atlantic, they are hurricanes). The last major storm, Typhoon Pongsona, came ashore in 2002 at Category 4 strength and caused more than $700 million in damage.
In an early assessment after Mawar hit last week, government officials estimated that the island’s commercial sector had lost about $112 million, mostly because of building damage. A broader assessment of the storm’s impact awaited the restoration of communications and other services.
The island’s major medical center, Guam Memorial Hospital, was forced to rely on generators in the storm’s immediate aftermath but has since had power restored, said Cindy Hanson, the hospital’s spokeswoman. But the facility is still waiting to regain full access to the water system, she said.
Though no deaths had been reported, Ms. Hanson said the number of people receiving medical care at the hospital rose slightly over the past week. But that could be attributed in part to the number of pregnant women who had been advised to wait out the storm at the facility, which is the island’s only public hospital.
Twenty-two babies were born there during the typhoon, Ms. Hanson said.
In the Agana Heights neighborhood of central Guam, Jessica Kim, 37, has been sorting through waterlogged wreckage since the wind ripped off the roof of her garage and floodwaters invaded her family’s home last week.
Ms. Kim still had no power as of Friday, she said. And she could see that the trash was still sitting on the sidewalk — including the food that she had removed from her warming fridge.
“We’ve all been hot, moody and short-tempered with each other,” Ms. Kim said, adding, “But we’re finding ways to have fun and entertain ourselves.”