Saipan Under Typhoon Warning
The Associated Press
Monday, June 28, 2004; 6:57 AM
SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands - Typhoon Tingting brought high winds and torrential rain to the Northern Mariana Islands on Monday after dumping record rains on neighboring Guam.
Winds gusting to 90 mph hit Saipan, the capital of this U.S. commonwealth, according to Julio Ngiramethelbang, a radio operator in the emergency management office.
The storm, which reached typhoon intensity Monday, caused some electrical problems, but water service remained active, Ngiramethelbang said. There were no reports of injuries, he said.
Saipan and Tinian were under a typhoon warning as the storm moved northwest at about 9 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
The center of the typhoon was located 100 miles north-northeast of Saipan, 175 miles north-northeast of Rota and 230 miles north-northeast of Guam.
As of early Monday afternoon, the storm had maximum winds of 75 mph with gusts of 90 mph, with damaging winds extending up to 140 miles from the center, forecasters said.
The storm shattered rainfall records on Guam. The island received 16 inches of rain on Sunday, shattering the daily rainfall record of 3.16 inches set in 1962, the weather service said.
"This is unquestionably the wettest June that we've ever had on record," said Chip Guard, a meteorologist in the weather service's Guam office.
The rain caused flooding over most of the island, and also triggered mudslides. Guam's airport was closed Sunday and Guam Gov. Felix Camacho declared a state of emergency.
Several people had to be rescued by Jet Skis after their cars stalled in a rising flood Sunday in Barrigada, said Shawn Gumataotao, the governor's spokesman. Officials received reports of widespread mudslides; no casualties were reported.
A typhoon is a hurricane located west of the international date line. A tropical storm gains typhoon status when its minimum sustained surface winds reach 74 mph.
The Northern Mariana Islands are about 3,800 miles southwest of Hawaii.
On the Net:
National Weather Service:http://www.prh.noaa.gov/pr/guam/cyclone.html
© 2004 The Associated Press