30 Jul 2014

Guam and CNMI escape worst of tropical storm

7:32 pm on 30 July 2014

A Tropical Storm passing over Guam and the Northern Marianas has failed to develop into a typhoon, although it has caused some localised damage.

The governors of both territories this morning ordered all non-essential government operations to close, with Guam's governor, Eddie Calvo, asking residents to prepare emergency kits for possible evacuation.

But a meteorologist at the National Weather Service on Guam, Brandon Idlet (eyed-lit), says the eye of Tropical Storm Halong has now moved past the Marianas and isn't expected to intensify.

However, Mr Idlet says it was still a serious storm, with sustained winds of 100 kilometres an hour and a foot of rain falling in the past few hours.

"We've been under periods of pretty heavy torrential downpours and seen winds gusting about 50-60 miles per hour, and that's what a lot of people out here and in the Philippines would call a 'banana storm' - it will bring down the banana trees. But it's definitely a flooding range and even though the eye of the storm is to our northwest now we're still going to be under heavy rain bands for the next several hours and continue to see gusty winds."

A Guam meteorologist Brandon Idlet.