[UPDATE: MNN received the following from TWR via email on Thursday, May 25]
Initial reports from TWR staff indicate that a last-minute turn to the north seems to have allowed our broadcasting facility on the southern end of the island to escape severe damage. That’s incredibly important news for the millions in countries like North Korea, China and India for whom KTWR is a rare – and in many cases the only – source of solid Gospel teaching.
While there were concerns that Mawar would bring 150 mph sustained winds to the transmitting facility, the highest gust measured [locally] at 108 mph. Media reports said winds on the northern end reached 140 mph.
Steve [Brunson] is the chief engineer at KTWR and has kept us updated via his contacts 8,000 miles away. Showing us the tracking of Mawar on his phone app, Steve said, “You can see that it was headed in here to bull’s-eye Guam, and then it did this little jink to the north and the eye passed north of the island. God’s hand!”
Guam (MNN) — The National Weather Service expects Super Typhoon Mawar to reach peak force today in Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific.
This little island nation is an essential location for Trans World Radio. “That’s where we broadcast [to] most of Asia – China, North Korea, India – and we have big listening audiences in those countries,” TWR President/CEO Lauren Libby says.
Gospel programming is off the air until Mawar passes. “We’ve shut the station down and moved everybody to high ground,” Libby says.
“They’re anticipating five- to six-foot swells, 150- [to] 160-mile-an-hour winds. Our towers are only certified for [winds at] 130 mph.”
Mawar became a super typhoon early on Tuesday, meaning it has sustained winds of at least 150 mph. That’s the equivalent of an intense Category 4 hurricane.
As long as Mawar stays on its forecasted path, it will be the most significant storm to hit Guam since 2002.
Pray that the Lord will have mercy and spare Guam from severe damage. “This is where God can move, and we’ve seen this before,” Libby says.
“There was a typhoon coming through about 15 years ago in Guam. People went to prayer, and literally, it moved 15 miles north. There’s no reason why it should have happened.”
Pray the TWR station and equipment will not need repairs.
“We will probably have to repair antennas because shortwave antennas differ greatly from medium wave or F.M. antennas. Then, we have to reload all the programming with our playout system,” Libby says.
“It’s ‘all hands on deck’ in a situation like this.”
Header image depicts Super Typhoon Mawar. (Wikimedia Commons)