Typhoon wreaks havoc on Guam after killing 37 in Micronesia

Friday, July 5th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) _ A typhoon dumped 8 inches of rain as it landed on the northern end of Guam on Friday morning, packing sustained winds of up to 75 mph and gusts to 90 mph, the National Weather Service said.

Typhoon Chata'an wreaked havoc on Guam after passing through the Federated States of Micronesia, where it killed 37 people and injured more than 100 others.

There were no reports of deaths and reported injuries were minor, said Joe Javellana, the island's civil defense administrator.

The high winds damaged some schools and left Guam Memorial Hospital with some leaking and flooding, Javellana said. The winds also downed power lines and knocked out landline communications, he said.

The entire island was without electrical power, leaving some villages with little or no water, the Guam Power Authority reported.

The island's A.B. Won Pat International Airport was closed during the day but reopened at 6 p.m., Javellana said.

Some 1,700 people were in shelters, mostly in public schools at the northern end of the island, about 3,200 miles west of Hawaii, he said.

Javellana said there was ``a fair amount'' of rain but said it was not as heavy as on the island of Chuuk, in Micronesia, where Gov. Ansito Walter has declared a state of emergency.

On Tuesday, Tropical Storm Chata'an dumped heavy rains on Chuuk, about 600 miles southeast of Guam, causing landslides.

The death toll in Micronesia was expected to rise as reports were received from the outer islands, said Lynn Narruhn, a public information officer for the Micronesian government.

``Nobody can get to the outer islands because the waves are still high and communications are down,'' she said.

Most of those who died on Chuuk were buried in about 30 landslides that covered about 1,000 homes, Narruhn said.

After passing Guam, the typhoon, packing maximum sustained winds of 115 mph and gusts to 145 mph, moved to the west-northwest at 12 mph into open water, National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Mundell said. He said the storm posed no threat to land for several days.