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CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Like an aging prizefighter, Typhoon Dianmu lost its punch as it approached Okinawa Saturday night and left island residents Sunday morning wondering what all the fuss was about.

Still, at least one death has been attributed to the typhoon by Okinawa police.

“The storm weakened as it hit a frontal boundary to our north and passed over colder water,” Tech Sgt. Glen DeMars, a forecaster with the 18th Weather Flight, said Sunday morning. “The peak winds on the island so far have been 54 knots (62 mph) and we should stay that way until about noon.

“It’s really too early in the typhoon season for storms to maintain their intensity this far north,” he said.

Military bases on the island went into TCCOR 1 Emergency at 5 a.m. Sunday. The storm’s closest point of approach was 97 miles east-southeast of Kadena Air Base at 6 a.m. It was moving quickly to the north at 10 mph.

No major damage was reported as the feeder bands of the storm passed over the island.

For some base residents, being locked down for a day had one important benefit. “Our family had some quality time to spend together for a day or two,” said Melinda Fogarthy, a DODDS teacher. Her family, she said, recently moved into base housing at O’Donnell Gardens near Camp Shields and has faced much stronger typhoons.

She praised officials at Kadena Air Base for keeping everyone up to date on the forecasts — even though they were calling for a stronger storm.

“I thought it was going to be very bad; we were prepared for the worst,” she said. “We had plenty water, food and supplies but you can never be too prepared.”

Darrell Farmer, a retired sailor who lives with his daughters and active-duty wife on Camp Lester, said he also had seen much worse in his 10 years on the island. He said Dianmu was weak and the worst damage was to his weekend.

“The heavy rainstorm we had two weeks ago scared me more than this typhoon,” he said. “The weekends are my time to relax and play, especially during the summer. This rain and windstorm should have come in the middle of the week so I could have played golf Saturday and Sunday. Now, I’ve got to wait a week before I can play golf.”

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class George Walker, a Seabee with NMCB-133, just arrived for a six-month deployment at Camp Shields. He reported being a bit disappointed by his first tropical storm in Typhoon Alley.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” Walker said. “Everyone was going to the shoppette and buying groceries like we’d be shut up for three or four days. The Seabees passed out Meals, Ready, Eat to everyone in the barracks because the dining facility was closed.”

But there was a bright side.

“I was pretty disappointed that the storm didn’t keep us inside longer but I guess that’s good because if it had torn up things, you can guess who was going to be cleaning up the mess up afterwards around Camp Shields and other bases,” he said. “You guessed it: Seabees.”

TCCOR 1 Recovery was called at 9:15 a.m. and the all clear recorded at 11:30 p.m. Sunday. The island’s bases were expected to resume business as normal Monday morning.

Okinawa police reported one death blamed on Typhoon Dianmu, Chinese for “Mother of Lightning.” A 32-year-old Japanese man drowned while board-sailing off the southern coast of the island Saturday morning.

Japanese media reported two additional fatalities. Two college students were apparently swept away by rough seas while barbecuing on the beach Saturday in Shizuoka, 95 miles west of Tokyo. Their bodies were found washed ashore Sunday.

Local media also reported that a 73-year-old Tokyo resident remained missing after he went fishing Friday near Kozu island about 75 miles south of Tokyo. Officials said they feared he may have gotten lost in high waves.

A 29-year-old Japanese man on a moped was injured when he ran through construction cones and into two highway workers who were closing the Tomari Bridge in Naha to traffic at 11:40 p.m. Saturday.

The moped rider was taken to a local hospital, where he was unconscious Sunday night and listed in critical condition. One of the highway workers was treated for a broken leg.

No major damage was reported by Okinawa police or base officials.

The storm was expected to weaken further as it plowed north toward the island of Kyushu on Sunday night. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii forecast the center of Typhoon Dianmu would pass Monday some 138 miles to the east of Sasebo, with winds of 75 mph to 90 mph at its center, by 6 a.m., and within 63 miles to the east of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni by 11 a.m. Monday, with winds weakened to 60 mph to 80 mph at its center.

— Stripes reporters Chiyomi Sumida, Mark Rankin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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