U.S. bases in Japan boost warning level as Etau approaches
August 10, 2003
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — U.S. military bases across the Kanto Plain braced for Typhoon Etau early Saturday.
The storm, which has weakened since drenching Okinawa on Thursday, was expected to pass west of the bases by noon Saturday.
Overnight Friday, Camp Zama, Camp Fuji and Yokota Air Base went into Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1, the highest level of typhoon warnings. Nonessential personnel on the bases were encouraged to stay home.
Readiness 1 is ordered when winds are expected to exceed 50 knots, 57.5 mph, within 12 hours.
Yokosuka Naval Base had issued a storm watch. Offshore seas were at 30 feet, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii reported.
As of 8 a.m. Saturday, the Yokota weather center was reporting winds had topped 22 mph.
The wind brought down small branches on Yokota, but no damage was evident. Crews were clearing the minor debris from roads and sidewalks by 8 a.m.
Wind speeds were expected to more than double by noon Saturday, the weather center reported.
Approximately 0.75 inches of rain had fallen overnight at Yokota, according to the weather center.
The weather center said residents of the Kanto Plain bases could expect high winds, rain and possibly localized flooding by Saturday afternoon.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center early Saturday reported Etau’s position as nearing Kyoto, Japan.
Etau is expected to track north-northeasterly along the west coast of Honshu, the typhoon warning center reported. As of Saturday morning, it was moving northeast at more than 17 mph.
The storm has weakened since hitting Okinawa Thursday with winds gusting to 112 mph and approximately 6 inches of rain, the typhoon warning center reported. It is expected to weaken further as the eye passes over mountains in western Japan and enters the Sea of Japan.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center predicted the storm would pass within 112 miles of Camp Fuji, 116 miles of Misawa Air Base and 138 miles of Yokota.