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Typhoon Roy Expected to Pass Between Guam and Saipan

January 11, 1988

AGANA, Guam (AP) _ Typhoon Roy churned directly toward Guam today packing 125 mph wind after damaging most of the homes on an island in the Marshalls and leaving 3,500 people homeless, authorities said.

As the typhoon approached, the U.S. Air Force sent its B-52s, KC-135s, and DC-10s stationed at Andersen Air Force Base, to Kadena Air Base, Japan, Andersen spokeswoman Capt. Christina L. Lafferty said today.

Two supply ships, the USS Haleakala and the USS Proteus left Guam’s Apra Harbor today to weather the storm at sea, said Senior Chief Gene Romano, a Navy spokesman.

Government offices and schools on Guam and in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, located to the north of this U.S. territory, closed early today in anticipation of the storm.

At 10 a.m. EST today, Typhoon Roy, with sustained winds of 125 mph and 155 mph gusts, was located 300 miles east-southeast of Guam, moving west-northwest at 25 mph, said Wayman Au, a National Weather Service forecaster in Honolulu.

The typhoon was expected to pass directly over Guam late today, Au said.

Roy was a tropical storm Saturday when it slammed into Ebeye Island, which is part of the Marshall Island’s Kwajalein Atoll. At Kwajalein, the U.S. Army monitors missiles test-fired from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

One person on Ebeye drowned and another was hospitalized in serious condition by the storm. The storm damaged 80 percent of the island’s homes, destroying half, said Army Maj. Tim Pfister of the U.S. Pacific Command in Honolulu. An estimated 3,500 people were left homeless, he said.

Electrical power and water service were knocked out, although there was an adequate supply of fresh water, Pfister said.

The U.S. military was conducting food and clothing drives for disaster victims, he said.

About 700 of the island’s 10,000 residents work for the military on nearby Kwajalein Atoll, which did not report any damage, Pfister said.

A storm becomes a typhoon when maximum sustained winds reach 74 mph.

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