Okinawa braces for weekend typhoon
Stars and Stripes December 4, 2004
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Typhoon Nanmadol is expected to put a damper on Okinawa’s weekend activities.
The storm, which passed north of Yap on Wednesday with winds exceeding 60 mph, was expected to pass over northern Luzon in the Philippines with winds exceeding 130 mph by Friday and make a right hook toward Okinawa.
Although it’s expected to decrease in strength after hitting the Philippines, forecasters with the 18th Weather Flight said the storm could hit the Japanese island early Sunday with winds of almost 70 mph.
“We’ll start feeling it Saturday,” said forecaster Staff Sgt. Richelle Greer. That’s just in time for the annual Army-Navy football game scheduled Saturday afternoon at Torii Station and the Christmas festivities at Kadena Air Base.
Military bases on Okinawa went into Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4 at 11:50 a.m. Thursday. TCCOR 4 means destructive winds of 57 mph or greater were possible over the island within 72 hours. Okinawa’s bases are in TCCOR 4 from June 1 to Nov. 30.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii forecast the storm to make its closet point of approach about 15 miles west of Kadena by 9 a.m. Sunday.
The strongest sustained winds are expected to be about 47 mph. If the storm remains on track, military bases on Okinawa could go into lock-down condition, TCCOR 1-Emergency, by 9 a.m. Sunday.
Typhoon Nanmadol, named for ruins of an ancient civilization on the Micronesian island of Pohnpei, had sustained winds of 130 mph, with gusts exceeding 150 mph, early Thursday as it made its way toward the Philippines, which is still recovering from the effects of Tropical Storm Winnie, which blew through Monday, leaving at least 422 people dead and almost 200 people missing.
Nanmadol was expected to follow Winnie’s path, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.