10 Dec 2002

three people killed by typhoon in Guam

7:55 am on 10 December 2002

Guam has declared a state of emergency after three people were killed in the most destructive typhoon to strike the U.S. Pacific territory this year.

Air and sea ports remained closed a day after the north pacific island of 150 thousand people was hit.

Typhoon Pongsona directly struck two villages and a U.S. Air Force base in northern Guam on Sunday afternoon.

It felled scores of telephone and power lines and forced the evacuation of patients after structural damage to hospital buildings.

At the height of the storm, winds gusting at up to 288 km per hour toppled telephone poles and sent roofs flying.

The Guam Governor Carl Gutierrez has sent an appeal for help to President Bush

He said it was obvious that Pongsona has caused significant damage to Guam's infrastructure, power, water and wastewater systems and that it was beyond the island's ability to recover from without federal assistance.

In early July, it was hit by Typhoon Chata'an, which destroyed the homes of 1,500 people and caused tens of millions of dollars in damage.