Tags: typhoon | francisco | guam

Typhoon Francisco Skirts Guam as It Heads Toward Japan

Friday, 18 Oct 2013 12:32 PM

By Michael Mullins

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Typhoon Francisco skirted Guam's West coast Friday, forcing the U.S. Pacific island to go on high alert as severe rains and tropical storm-force winds bore down on it.

In response to Typhoon Francisco, Guam's Gov. Eddie Calvo declared a Condition of Readiness 1 – the highest alert – forcing the closure of the island's government, schools, and banks on Friday, NBC News reported.

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"We are expecting the worst of the weather to pass around 3 p.m.," Phill Leon Guerrero, a spokesman for Calvo, told a local NBC station out of Hagatna. "At this point, it is a wait-and-see thing, and we want to make sure that the typhoon moves as predicted."

The three U.S. military bases on Guam were in contrast placed on moderate alert, leading to only some of the bases' nonessential services being suspended, the Navy told NBC News Friday morning.

Some Guam residents took precautionary measures, relocating to makeshift shelters in government buildings, such as the F.B. Leon Guerrero Middle School.

"We live in a wood-and-tin house and also they live in a wood-and-tin house," resident Doris Gogue told Guam's News Network Kuam News referring to her neighbors who had also fled to the shelter. "My fear is if the wind gets worse and ... I don't have all the woman power to grab [my kids] and bring them to a safe shelter."

As it passes Guam, the category 2 storm is expected to follow the same path as Typhoon Wipha did earlier this week, having struck Japan's east coast, killing at least 19 people while another 40 people remain missing, according to government officials.

Typhoon Wipha reportedly had 110 mph winds when it made landfall Wednesday morning. Most of the victims were on the island of Izu Oshima, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of Tokyo.

Typhoon Francisco will likely threaten western Japan by mid-next week, Accuweather.com reported.

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Related stories:

Japan Typhoon Man-yi Leaves 2 Dead; 260K Told To Evacuate

Typhoon Utor Hits Northern Philippines; 1 Dead, 20 Missing

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