Typhoon 16W (Bolaven), # 20: Korea braces for gusty visitor
Published: August 26, 2012
2:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27, Japan/Korea time: Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1-SW -- for Storm Watch -- has been issued for Okinawa, meaning it now is safe to go outside. Assessment teams still are surveying and checking for damage, flooding, downed power lines and tree limbs, etc. Okinawa was still being lashed by 48 mph winds and heavy rains into evening and possibly early Tuesday morning.
DODDS schools on Okinawa were closed for business on Monday. The same might happen for DODDS schools in Korea on Tuesday, depending on how cozy a visitor Typhoon Bolaven wishes to be to the Korean peninsula.
Bolaven is gradually losing its punch and picking up forward speed as it chugs through the East China Sea toward the Yellow Sea (or West Sea) and apparent rendezvous with South Korea’s west coast, or close to it, if Joint Typhoon Warning Center projections hold up.
Forecasts still call for southerly gusts between 58 and 69 mph on Tuesday with 10 to 12 inches of rain. But already, southern areas of Korea are starting to feel the punch; at its peak, Bolaven stretched almost 1,000 miles wide, and it still possesses a far reach even now.
Kunsan Air Base, right on the southwest coast, should feel the worst of it, as Bolaven roars 77 miles west at high-noon on Tuesday, packing sustained 92-mph winds and 115-mph gusts at its center. Osan Air Base and Camp Humphreys are next, but further inland, 93 miles at 4 p.m., followed by Yongsan Garrison 89 miles at 6 p.m.
Back on Okinawa, more than two days of flights into and out of Naha International Airport, including Sunday’s entire slate, have been canceled; they’ll be sorting out that mess for a week, at least, right at the end of the peak summer holiday travel season. Reports of sporadic damage here and there and a few power outages on bases. Off post, some 60,000 residences and offices lost power. Peak winds on island were 63-mph sustained and 92-mph gusts at 3:11 a.m. in southern areas of the island.