A monster typhoon is heading straight for a US territory, a risky storm surge with lethal winds .

Early on Wednesday, typhoon Mawar was headed straight for Guam and seemed to be the biggest storm to hit the US island in decades.

According to the National Weather Service office in Guam, the typhoon, which has been quickly strengthening lately, is creating a “triple threat” of destruction, including lethal winds comparable to at least a Category 4 hurricane, extraordinary storm surge, and copious rain.

Mawar has been referred to as “one that will be remembered for decades,” according to Landon Aydlett, the meteorologist in charge of the warning coordination for the meteorological service in Guam. On Wednesday afternoon, local time, it is anticipated to hit the island and perhaps make a direct landfall (late Tuesday or early Wednesday, Eastern Time).

Image: earthobservatory.nasa.gov

Mawar’s center was 80 miles from Guam as of early Wednesday local time, and as the storm’s outer bands swept across the region and the storm’s core neared, conditions were rapidly deteriorating.

Early on Wednesday, Mawar had winds that might have been classified as a Category 4 hurricane with a maximum sustained speed of 140 mph, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. That is a decrease from the 155 mph it reached previously, which at the time qualified it as a super typhoon (at least 150 mph sustained winds).

Mawar may achieve sustained winds of more than 157 mph, or the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, before making landfall, according to forecasters. On Wednesday morning, the storm’s power was still subject to change, and it is anticipated that it would continue to be quite severe as it approaches across Guam in the next days in a westward and northwestward direction.

Typhoon Mawar and other more powerful storms are becoming more frequent and strong due to human-caused climate change. These systems are not only producing higher storm surges and more rainfall, but they are also more likely to be stronger and are strengthening more quickly.

Image: accuweather.com

Forecasters cautioned that significant damage is expected to occur to non-concrete-reinforced buildings when winds veer dangerously close to Category 5 strength. Along with flying missiles that are lofted into the air by the strong winds, extensive roof damage is conceivable.

The meteorological office in Guam issued a warning saying that “most trees will be snapped or uprooted” and that “electricity and water may be unavailable for days and possibly weeks after the storm passes.” Mawar’s strong winds may rip up to 70% of the island’s vegetation away.

Life and property on the island will be seriously at danger from an extraordinary storm surge of up to 25 feet, particularly in the most exposed coastal areas close to the eyewall.

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