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Westbound Pan American Clipper passengers over the Pacific look down on Guam with relief. Its rocky bluffs rise over the water; 30 miles to the south, dim Mount Sasalaguan looms; its peaceful, prosperous villages, policed by the Marine Corps, make it a spectacularly successful example of U. S. colonization. At this time of year the rainy season is ending; travelers take their ease on the long porch of the Pan American Hotel, overlooking the harbor.
At 4 o'clock one morning last week catastrophe struck Guam. Roaring out of the typhoon belt, a big wind sheared overland at 110 miles an hour, wiped out the banana crop. 90% of the coconut crop, all garden crops—chief livelihood of some 20,000 natives—smashed the Pan American Hotel and U. S. Navy hangar, left 40 American families and 15,000 natives homeless. When it was over, Governor McMillin called for Red Cross aid. First reports indicated that the typhoon approached the scale of the great blow of 1900. But that storm cost 20 lives; last week's, none. What damage, if any, the storm did to Japanese air and sea bases on surrounding islands, the Japanese kept to themselves.