A typhoon warning has been issued for Guam as the U.S. territory prepares for a potential Category 5 storm to strike the island on Wednesday. 

Forecasters from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center project Typhoon Mawar will strike Guam as a Category 5 storm with winds of nearly 160 mph. As of Tuesday, the typhoon had top winds of 155 mph. 

It is called a typhoon instead of a hurricane based on Guams location in the western Pacific. 

This is a very serious situation with steadily deteriorating conditions, Guams Office of Civil Defense said. The triple threat of Category 4 typhoon force winds, torrential rains, and life-threatening storm surge are all expected for Guam. Large storm surge and coastal impacts are likely to occur, particularly for coastal areas.

Parts of the Northern Mariana Islands, which are also part of the U.S., are under tropical storm and typhoon warnings.

In response to the forecast, President Joe Biden issued an emergency declaration for Guam, freeing up federal resources for the territory. Guam has a population of nearly 153,000 residents. Those born on the island are considered U.S. citizens. 

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Like Puerto Rico, residents of Guam do not have full representation in Congress. 

The island is also home to Naval Base Guam and 21,000 members of the U.S. military. 

Typhoon Mawar comes nearly five years after Typhoon Mangkhut affected the region. Mangkhut largely spared Guam, but directly hit Rota, the southernmost island of the Northern Mariana Islands chain. The typhoon destroyed 50 homes and damaged 175 homes.

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