Flights, school canceled as Nari nears Okinawa
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Typhoon Nari barreled past Okinawa overnight Friday.
U.S. bases on Okinawa entered Tropical Cyclone Condition Readiness-1C (caution) at 7:30 p.m. Friday, even as the storm shifted south and appeared as if it would pass near Okinawa to the southwest. Department of Defense Dependents Schools were closed on Friday at 10 a.m., and students were bused home.
Kadena Air Base evacuated heavy aircraft in anticipation of strong winds, said Kadena spokesman Johnathan Monroe, adding that Kadena’s Air Mobility Command flights were delayed 24 hours.
Japan Airlines and its affiliates canceled 49 flights serving Naha International Airport, while All Nippon Airways scrubbed 54 inbound and outbound flights connecting Naha with Japan’s main and outer islands, airline officials said.
Local bus services on Okinawa’s main island also were suspended, according to officials at Kadena’s 18th Wing Weather Flight.
Futenma saw winds of 59 mph at 9:30 p.m. Friday, winds of 62 mph buffeted Kadena Air Base at 10:30 p.m. Friday, and Naha recorded winds of 75 mph at 10:48 p.m. Friday, according to the 18th Wing Weather Flight.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center estimated winds at Nari’s center were 120 mph sustained with 144 mph gusts at 6 p.m. Friday.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast called for Nari to pass 52 miles southwest of Okinawa at midnight Friday with the strongest winds of 69 mph to hit the island about 2 a.m. Saturday.
Forecasts from the 18th Wing Weather Flight called for U.S. bases on Okinawa to experience winds of 58 mph and greater from midnight to 6 a.m. on Saturday. After passing Okinawa, Nari is forecast to track north, then northeast through the Tsushima Strait between South Korea and Kyushu Island and southwestern Honshu Island in Japan.