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Guamanian woman learns of typhoon damage to home, relatives' homes while in SD

Guamanian woman learns of typhoon damage to home, relatives' homes while in San Diego
Posted at 5:07 PM, May 26, 2023

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A Guamanian woman visiting San Diego says she was heartbroken after learning about the damage Typhoon Mawar caused to her home and the homes of her relatives.

As Typhoon Mawar slammed the island of Guam Wednesday night, Marlina Rose Olkerill was very anxious.

“It was very, very hard not being there,” said Olkerill.

Olkerill and her mother flew in from Guam last month, so her mom could undergo a medical procedure. Olkerill’s sister lives in San Diego.

Olkerill lives in Mongmong, a village in central Guam. She was sent photos of her home, one of which showed a tree toppled onto the side of it. Inside, there was plenty of flood damage.

“The kitchen, living room, and it was going a little bit toward the bedroom,” said Olkerill. "It makes me feel sad. The memories that are gone, and we can't get back.”

Next door to her home is another family home, which sustained more damage.

“A wall kind of caved out, damages to front of the house and to the side of house,” said Olkerill.

Other loved ones are also feeling the devastation. A cousin lost part of a home. Olkerill's sister, the San Diegan, recently learned the fate of three homes in northern Guam.

“Her aunt, her uncle and cousin. Their houses were completely destroyed by Typhoon Mawar,” said Olkerill.

Across Guam, the widespread damage is still being assessed. Two local Red Cross volunteers are in Guam to assist with relief efforts.

Power remains out across the island. Olkerill’s family is trying to stretch food supplies.

"A lot of the perishable food, they have to prepare them so they can last longer,” said Olkerill.

Meanwhile, the cleanup has begun. Olkerill's dad and brother are clearing trees ahead of utility workers arriving to restore power.

Olkerill, whose mother is still recovering from her medical procedure, can only watch and worry.

“I feel helpless. I’m so far, I can't be there to lend a hand. I can’t be there physically to support. Emotionally and mentally — I’m not there,” said Olkerill.

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help the family with expenses, including repairs for the typhoon damage.

The House of Chamorros is also collecting donations to aid those impacted by Typhoon Mawar.