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The commissary at Yokota Air Base, Japan, manned all registers to accommodate the flood of customers before the base shut down all normal services at 3 p.m. Saturday in preparation for the arrival of Typhoon Ma-on. No major damage was reported from any U.S. installations on the Kanto Plain.
The commissary at Yokota Air Base, Japan, manned all registers to accommodate the flood of customers before the base shut down all normal services at 3 p.m. Saturday in preparation for the arrival of Typhoon Ma-on. No major damage was reported from any U.S. installations on the Kanto Plain. (Jim Schulz / S&S)
The commissary at Yokota Air Base, Japan, manned all registers to accommodate the flood of customers before the base shut down all normal services at 3 p.m. Saturday in preparation for the arrival of Typhoon Ma-on. No major damage was reported from any U.S. installations on the Kanto Plain.
The commissary at Yokota Air Base, Japan, manned all registers to accommodate the flood of customers before the base shut down all normal services at 3 p.m. Saturday in preparation for the arrival of Typhoon Ma-on. No major damage was reported from any U.S. installations on the Kanto Plain. (Jim Schulz / S&S)
A car drives through some minor flooding near the Yokota Air Base, Japan, flight line as Typhoon Ma-on drenched the Kanto Plain on Saturday.
A car drives through some minor flooding near the Yokota Air Base, Japan, flight line as Typhoon Ma-on drenched the Kanto Plain on Saturday. (Jim Schulz / S&S)

Typhoon Ma-on swept through the Tokyo area Saturday night, towing heavy rain and gusty winds but largely sparing U.S. military installations on the Kanto Plain.

The unusually powerful storm, among the strongest to hit Japan’s Pacific coast in a decade, came on shore around 4 p.m. at Izu Peninsula, about 75 miles from Tokyo, packing winds up to 90 mph near the eye, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

At 8 p.m. Saturday, after the typhoon skirted farther east than predicted, military bases got the Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness All-Clear signal, said Capt. David Westover, a 374th Airlift Wing spokesman at Yokota Air Base. There were no reports of injuries or damage, but the storm triggered some localized flooding.

“The bottom line is the storm went farther to the east than we anticipated,” Westover said. “Fortunately, we haven’t heard about any damage to any of the bases.”

Ma-on, Chinese for “horse saddle,” the name of a Hong Kong peak, was the record eighth typhoon to impact the Kanto Plain region this year.

At Yokosuka Naval Base, the winds topped out at 91 mph, Westover said, while Atsugi Naval Air Facility officials clocked a 73 mph gust. Yokota measured a 49 mph gustand winds at Camp Zama reached 45 mph.

The strongest winds at Haneda Airport were about 85 mph during the storm’s peak Saturday evening.

From Friday at 9 a.m. through Saturday night, Yokota Air Base received 9.17 inches of rain associated with the typhoon, Westover said. Forecasters had predicted 10-12 inches of rain for the Kanto Plain.

According to the 20th Operational Weather Squadron at Yokota, Ma-on was moving rapidly to the northeast and not expected to impact Misawa Air Base. Officials there weren’t planning to initiate any TCCOR conditions.

Forecasters said the storm would head out over the Pacific Ocean off the Sanriku coast by Sunday morning and become extratropical.

Because of the typhoon’s intensity offshore earlier Saturday, military officials implemented precautions as the storm approached.

At Yokota, medical officials urged all women pregnant for 36 weeks or longer to report to the hospital — just in case they went into labor. All facilities, including the base exchange, commissary, shopettes and clubs, were closed at 3 p.m. which forced the postponement of Yokota Idol 3, which had been expected to draw 450 people to the Enlisted Club on Saturday night. The event has been rescheduled for Nov. 13.

Across the Tokyo metropolitan area, two people were killed by and five others were missing following the storm that grounded planes, flooded homes and set off mudslides, The Associated Press reported.

According to Kyodo News, Ma-on led to the cancellation of 184 domestic and 43 international flights as of 1 p.m. Saturday and disrupted train services in the Kanto and Tokai areas. Approximately 3,000 people, mostly in coastal spots along the Pacific, were forced to evacuate their homes.

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