Man-yi spares Sasebo, gets weaker on the way to Tokyo
Bases on the Kanto Plain entered Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1 Saturday evening as Typhoon Man-yi barreled toward the rain-soaked region, while Sasebo residents breathed a sigh of relief when Man-yi failed to deposit even a drop of precipitation there.
Man-yi was forecast to remain a significant tropical storm and batter Kanto Plain bases with 52 mph sustained winds and 63 mph gusts around 5 p.m. Sunday.
At Yokosuka Naval Base on Friday, Commander Destroyer Squadron 15 ordered USS Curtis Wilbur, USS Fitzgerald, USS Lassen, USS McCampbell, USS Mustin and USS Gary out to sea “as a preventative measure,” spokesman Cmdr. Jensin Sommer said.
At Yokota Air Base steady rains without winds continued throughout Saturday evening, while earlier in the day large waves were seen by onlookers crashing on the shores of Zushi Beach’s normally calm waters, roughly seven miles from Yokosuka Naval Base.
Earlier Saturday, Typhoon Man-yi curved some 115 miles southeast of Sasebo Naval Base and spared it the fury unleashed Friday on Okinawa in the form of 105 mph gusts and nearly 15 inches of rain.
Man-yi made landfall near Kagoshima at 2 p.m. Saturday, packing 98 mph sustained winds and 120 mph gusts as it crashed ashore. It pounded Kyushu Island’s southeast coast, disrupting airline and railway traffic, closing highways and stranding tens of thousands of travelers.
But Sasebo, expecting at least some of Man-yi’s wrath, instead experienced some gusts and “no rain whatsoever,” base spokesman Chuck Howard said.
Fleet Activities Sasebo issued the all-clear at 5 p.m., Howard said.
“Aside from it being a bit windy, the really severe rainfall didn’t hit us,” Howard said. “Fate broke our way this time.”
Farther northeast, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni entered TCCOR 1 late Friday. TCCOR 1-E (emergency) was to be issued at 6 p.m. Saturday, base spokesman Maj. Billy Canedo said.
Man-yi rumbled past Iwakuni at 10 p.m. Saturday, 117 miles to its southeast. Sustained 40 mph winds and 58 mph gusts were forecast overnight.
At midnight, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center reported Man-yi churning 440 miles west-southwest of Tokyo. Gradually losing its punch and picking up forward speed, Man-yi churned east- northeast at 22 mph, packing 75 mph sustained winds and 92 mph gusts overnight Saturday into Sunday as it skimmed the south coast of Shikoku and Honshu islands.
While Sasebo escaped Man-yi’s wrath, other parts of Kyushu and elsewhere weren’t so lucky.
Forecasts called for Man-yi to dump 27 inches of rain in Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures and 20 inches elsewhere on Kyushu into Sunday, the Asahi Shimbun reported. Kyushu is already beleaguered by seasonal monsoons that have caused landslides and home damage.
Osaka, Kyoto and other areas of central Japan were forecast for more than 15 inches of rain and more than 13 was expected in the Tokyo area, Japan’s NHK television news reported.
Airlines reported 638 canceled flights, stranding tens of thousands of passengers transiting airports on Kyushu and Shikoku, NHK reported. Fukuoka International Airport on Kyushu’s west coast remained open. Railroad service was suspended in parts of Kyushu and highways were closed, NHK reported.
At least 50 injuries have been blamed on the storm through Saturday afternoon in Kyushu, Okinawa and Yamaguchi prefecture. Evacuation was ordered for 8,587 homes in Miyazaki, 5,882 in Kagoshima, 120 in Kumamoto, 197 in Oita and 245 in Koichi prefectures. About 14,000 people in Kyushu, Shikoku and Kinki evacuated voluntarily, NHK reported.
Five homes in Kagoshima Prefecture were destroyed and 36 damaged in Okinawa and Miyazaki prefectures. Flooding occurred in 145 homes in Miyazaki, 29 on Okinawa, 19 in Kagoshima, nine in Kochi and one in Kumamoto, according to NHK.
About 33,000 homes in Kagoshima, 13,000 in Okinawa, 10,100 in Miyazaki, 118 in Tokushima and 20 in Oita prefecture were without power.
Though flights serving Naha International Airport resumed Saturday with some delays, Okinawa wasn’t completely out of the woods, weather-wise. Rain continued throughout the day, with more forecast for Monday and Tuesday. About 13,600 homes on Okinawa and its outlying islands remained without power, Asahi reported.
Stars and Stripes reporters Dave Ornauer, Chiyomi Sumida and Hana Kusumoto contributed to this report.